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Osmelia grandistipulata


Osmelia grandistipulata Slooten

Family Name: Salicaceae
Synonyms: Osmelia philippina auct. non (Turcz.) Benth.

Osmelia grandistipulata is a Endangered tree native to Singapore, it can grow between 10 - 24 m tall. The leaves are glossy, short appressed hairs may only be found along the midrib and nerves on the underside. Male and female flowers are small, green to greenish-white borne on separate plants, on an inflorescence between 15 - 25 cm long. The fruit splits into 3, revealing its seed enclosed in a yellow, fleshy aril.


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Genus Epithet
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Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 24 m


Native Distribution Borneo, Malaya, Sumatra, Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree that grows between 10 - 24 m, buttresses up to 60 cm tall.
Foliage Leaves are oblong to ovate-elliptic shaped, tri-nerved from the base, glossy above, dull below measuring between 15 - 33 cm long by 5 - 10 cm wide. Short appressed hairs may be found along the midrib and nerves on the underside.
Flowers The flowers are borne on an inflorescence between 15 - 25 cm long. The male and female flowers are small, white to greenish-white coloured, found on different plants. Both the flowering branches and flowers are covered short fine hairs.
Fruits The fruit is an oblong to sub-globose capsule, green to greyish-purplish, covered in short rusty-coloured fine hairs measuring 0.8 - 1 cm long by 0.5 cm wide. Each fruit splits into 3 when mature, revealing the seed, usually single seeded, rarely 2, enclosed in a yellow, fleshy aril.
Habitat Occur in forests, at low altitude rarely up to 600 m.
Taxonomy Previous name of Osmelia philippina auct. non (Turcz.) Benth. was misused in Singapore. Current name of Osmelia grandistipulata Slooten is applicable to wild plants in Singapore but not necessarily to wild plants elsewhere or to cultivated plants originating elsewhere.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology 'Osmelia' is Greek for the fragrance of honey, probably referring to the flower’s scent.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( The wood of Osmelia are mainly for local use such as house building, rough posts and manufacture of chairs. )

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It may be suitable for parks.
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong, Ovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Acute, Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Green, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal, Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Green, Purple, Silver / Grey
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)


References Sleumer, H. (1954). Flacourtiaceae. Flora Malesiana, ser. I, 5(1), pp.1-106. Leiden: Naturalis Biodiversity Center. 

Image Repository



Master ID 31207
Species ID 5601
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: 24 November 2022.