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Syzygium papillosum


Syzygium papillosum (Duthie) Merr. & L.M.Perry

Family Name: Myrtaceae
Synonyms: Eugenia papillosa Duthie
Common Name: Kelat Paya

Syzygium papillosum or Kelat Paya is a tall tree that grows to 30 m tall. The bark is papery, flaking, orange to dark brown coloured. It has shortly stalked leaves with a heart-shaped base or ear-like lobes and white, pom-pom shaped flowers produced on the upper branches in clusters.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Maximum Height 30 m


Native Distribution Borneo, Malaya, Sumatera, Thailand and Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tall tree of up to 30 m tall with orange to dark brown, papery, flaking bark. Branches and smaller branchlets are reddish-brown with little round bumps on its surface (papillose).
Foliage Its leaves are shortly stalked, opposite, obovate-oblong shaped, measuring 33 - 34 cm long by 12 - 13 cm wide. The leaves have ear-like lobes or heart-shaped base with a intramarginal vein that connects the lateral veins along the margin.
Flowers Its flowers are white, stalkless, pom-pom shaped, held on a cymose inflorescence. The flowering shoot measures up to 15 cm long, produced at the tips and axillary of the upper branches.
Habitat Occurs along the edges of streams in evergreen, lowland swampy forest, up to 300 - 500 m in altitude.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cordate, Auriculate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Mature Bark Texture Peeling / Flaking / Papery
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Trumpet-shaped
Inflorescence Type Cyme
Flowering Habit Polycarpic


References Parnell, J. & Chantaranothai P. (2002). Myrtaceae. Flora of Thailand, vol. 7. Bangkok: The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department. pp. 778-914.

Image Repository



Master ID 30458
Species ID 4767
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 12 September 2022.