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Urceola laevigata (Juss.) D.J.Middleton & Livsh. (variegated)

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Synonyms: Parameria laevigata (Juss.) Moldenke (variegated), Parameria barbata (variegated)
Common Name: Kayu Rapat, Cebu Balsam
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Native to Singapore Fragrant Ornamental Foliage Climber, Vine and Liana


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution East Asia (China, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Andaman and Nicobar Islands). 
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status 1 Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an evergreen climbing shrub producing stems as long as 10 m. 
Foliage Petiole is 2-4 cm long; leaf blade is ovate, green and variegated with white nearer to the leaf margin. 
Stems Stems are pale grey. 
Flowers Yellowish, white flowers, borne on inflorescence called as cymes; each flowers has broadly ovate sepals, reddish to white corolla measuring around 7 mm in diameter and tubular about 2.5 mm. 
Fruits Follicles with seeds about 1 cm. 
Habitat It is found in montane forests, at elevation of between 800 and 1500 m in China; in thickets and open forests in the Philippines and in primary and secondary forests as well. 
Etymology The genus Parameria is from the Greek para which means near or beside, and meris which means part, which refers to an allusion to the same floral parts. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( All parts of the plants are said to be useful in treating rheumatism and injury. The leaves and twigs are pounded before applied as poultice on cuts. In Indonesia, the plant is an ingredient of folk medicine used traditionally to treat ulcer, diarrhoea and wounds. The bark decoction is given after childbirth for shrinking uterus.)
[Others]: Fibre from the bark is used in rope making and to tie bundles of rice. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Fragrant (Flowers)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Trellis / Arbour / Pergola

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, White, Patterned
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green, White
Young Flush Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Tubular
Inflorescence Type Cyme
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Image Repository



Master ID 30619
Species ID 4928
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: 22 January 2020.