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Sterculia megistophylla Ridl.

Family Name: Malvaceae
Synonyms: Sterculia hosei Merr.
Common Name: Kalumpang, Buah Ayan Antu Sebayan, Biris Merah
Full Sun Semi Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Suitable for Roadsides Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Leaves Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

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


Native Distribution Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah).
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 20 m tall, with stout, hairy twigs.
Trunk The outer bark is orange-brown and smooth.
Roots It forms low, rounded buttresses.
Foliage Its alternate, spirally arranged, stalked leaves are elliptic, elliptic-oblong, obovate or oblong obovate, 25-36 cm long by 8-18 cm wide, papery to leathery, hairless on the upper surface except for the mid-rib which is hairy, lower surface densely hairy. Leaf tip long and pointed, leaf base subcordate or round. The leaf stalks are covered with dense reddish hairs.
Flowers Its densely hairy, brownish pink flowers are small, 1.5-2 mm long by 2-2.5 mm wide, borne on pendulous, cauliflorous, hairy inflorescences that are 15-30 cm long. Male and bisexual flowers are produced.
Fruits Its fruits are beaked, oblong follicles that are 15-22 cm long by 5-7 cm wide, brilliant red or dark orange in colour, densely velvety on the outside and hairless or slightly hairy inside, bearing 15-20 dark green to brown ellipsoid seeds, 2.5 cm by 1.5 cm.
Habitat It grows in lowland to submontane primary forests, from sea level up to 1500 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect pollinated. The seeds are dispersed by small mammals or birds.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seeds.
Etymology Latin stercus (derived from Greek Sterculius, god of fertilization), dung, referring to the smell of flowers; Greek megistophylla, largest or biggest leaf, referring to the large leaves of this species.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for growing on roadsides and in parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Shade Providing Tree / Palm

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting
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
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute, Papery, Leathery
Foliar Modification Stipule
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate, Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Caudate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse, Cordate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Orange brown
Mature Bark Texture Smooth
Root Type Aboveground (Buttress Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual & Bisexual Flowers(Sub-dioecious)
Flower Colour(s) Pink
Flower Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Cauliflorous
Inflorescence Type Raceme, Panicle

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange, Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Follicle
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown, [Remarks] (Dark greenish)
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Several (11-20)

Image Repository



Master ID 31269
Species ID 5664
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: 05 August 2022.