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Oenocarpus bataua Mart.

Family Name: Arecaceae (Palmae)
Common Name: Bataua Palm, Seje Palm, Ungurahui
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Fan / Costapalmate Palm


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Genus Epithet
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Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Palm
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Weeping / Pendulous
Maximum Height 10 m


Native Distribution Panama, northern South America
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status 1 Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Solitary palm with a straight trunk, growing up to 10 m tall.
Foliage Large, feather-shaped fronds are composed of dark green, glossy leaflets which hang downwards.
Flowers Male and female flowers are creamy white and fragrant. The flowers are arranged in a thick, stringy inflorescence that resembles the head of a mop.
Fruits Glossy purplish black fruits resemble olives. The reddish pink, hard flesh is oily and has a chocolate-like taste.
Etymology The genus Oenocarpus is derived from the Greek words for wine ('oinos') and fruit ('carpos').
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The fruit is added to beverages, ice cream, and popsicles. The fruit is soaked in water to soften the flesh before eating.)
Timber & Products ( The wood is used to make flooring and other building materials.)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Palm Fronds (Fan / Costapalmate)
Foliar Venation Palmate
Foliar Margin Palmately Lobed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Black, Purple
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny

Image Repository



Master ID 31443
Species ID 5840
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 April 2020.