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Baccaurea bracteata


Baccaurea bracteata Müll. Arg.

Family Name: Phyllanthaceae
Common Name: Rambai Tikus

Baccaurea bracteata, also known as Rambai Tikus, is a tree which is critically endangered in Singapore. Flowers occur in long clusters on the branches. Fruit is round, reddish brown and splits into 3 parts when ripe. The fruit pulp is yellow and edible but sour.


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 25 m


Native Distribution Peninsular Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a small tree up to 25 m tall, with a round crown.
Trunk Its bark is a light grey-brown and covered with minute scales.
Foliage Its alternate, long-stalked leaves possess papery to somewhat leathery leaf blades that are egg-shaped to oval to drop-shaped, and 3.5–21 by 1.7–9.8 cm. Its young leaves have leaf blades that are whitish to dark-green above, and white to pale-green below.
Flowers Its branched, male flowering clusters are up to 16 cm long, and bear up to 100 red, 1.5–2.9 mm-wide, male flowers. Leaf-like bracts are also present below the male flowering clusters. Its female flowering clusters are up to 6.5 cm long, and bear up to 30 female flowers that are 4–12 mm wide, and yellowish to greenish to red-brown.
Fruits Its round fruits are dark reddish-brown and 1.9–2.5 cm wide. They are three-shouldered, and found in 1–2 together on 5–10 cm-long shoots on the twigs and branches. They split into three parts when ripe to reveal three to six seeds in yellow, sour pulp. Its seeds are ovoid to drop-shaped, and 4–6.5 mm wide.
Habitat It grows in primary or secondary, freshwater swamp, heath swamp or peat swamp forests, up to 900 m altitude. It occurs locally in Nee Soon Swamp Forest.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin bacca, berry; Latin aurea, golden referring to the golden colour of the berries; Latin bracteata means having bracts (a modified leaf generally associated with the flower or flower cluster), referring to the plant’s bracts in the male flowering clusters
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The fruit pulp is edible but sour. )
Timber & Products ( The timber is reported to be of good quality. )
[Others]: In Sarawak, the shoots are used in constructing ‘laminaang’ (a type of longhouse found in the Dayak Kenyah village).

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Pond / Lake / River

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water, Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, White
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Papery, Leathery
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Brown, Green, Red, Yellow / Golden

Image Repository



Master ID 30685
Species ID 4996
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: 20 August 2022.