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Callicarpa longifolia


Callicarpa longifolia Lam.

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Common Name: Long Leaved Beauty Berry, Nasi-nasi, White-berried Malayan Lilac, Capal, Capal Kecil, Karat Besi, Tampah Besi, Tampal Besi, Tampung Besi, Tampung Besi Putih, 长叶紫珠


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 2 m to 5 m


Native Distribution Southern China, southern Thailand through Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia to Papua New Guinea, and Australia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrub up to 5 m tall. The young vegetative parts are covered with brownish or brownish-white, flake-like hairs.
Foliage Its opposite, stalked leaves have leaf blades that are usually elliptic, pointed, and 7.6–20 by 2–8.9 cm. The leaf blades are nearly not covered with hair below, or thinly covered with flake-like scales.
Flowers Its tiny, 4-petaled flowers are about 2 mm long, pink or pale lilac and borne on a 2–3 cm wide cluster.
Fruit Its fleshy fruits (2-6 mm long, 2-6 mm wide) are covered in minute hairs and yellow glands, ripening to white or cream-colour. Each fruit contains 1-4 seeds.
Habitat It grows along mountain roads and in open country.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. Its fruits are eaten by birds.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed or stem cutting.
Etymology Greek kalli, beautiful; Greek karpos, fruit; Latin longifolius, long-leaved
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: According to folk medicine, the roots are effective against stomachache, diarrhoea and syphilis. Its leaves are widely used for poulticing and for rubbing over the body in fever, and are also applied to swellings. A decoction of the leaves is drunk in colic, after parturition and for fever. An infusion of the roots is mentioned as a remedy for syphilis. Various parts, prepared in different ways, are prescribed as a remedy for sprue. Pounded leaves are an ingredient for a poultice to mature boils and ulcers. An infusion of the leaves is drunk as a depurative after parturition. Pounded leaves are used to stupefy fish.  In East New Britain, the leaves are externally applied on wounds to an ulcerated mouth and to reduce fever, swellings and bruises. The leaves or roots are internally applied to treat diarrhoea.
Others: Fishes can be stunned by pounded leaves added to the water.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks for its attractive flowers.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird-Attracting, Butterfly-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Scaly
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Brown
Young Flush Texture(s) Scaly
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate, Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Pink, Purple
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Campaulate / Bell-shaped
Inflorescence Type Cyme

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, White
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type

Image Repository



Master ID 31181
Species ID 5575
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: 18 August 2022.