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Horsfieldia wallichii (Hook.f. & Thoms.) Warb.

Family Name: Myristicaceae
Synonyms: Myristica wallichii Hook.f. & Thoms.
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Native to Singapore Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Foliage Tree


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Columnar, Irregular
Maximum Height 35 m


Native Distribution Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Mountain, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 35 m tall, and with hollow twigs.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves possess membranous to leathery leaf blades that are egg-shaped-oblong to oblong-lance-shaped, greenish above, and 14–40 by 4–12 cm. The blades are covered with fine, 0.3–0.8 mm long hairs, and are dark brown with blackish dots and dashes below when dried.
Flowers The species is dioecious with individual trees producing either male or female flowers. Its flowering shoots (inflorescences) develop behind the leaves on twigs, and possess 0.5–1 mm long hairs. Its male inflorescence is 10–33 by 6–22 cm, and the male flowers are in clusters of 5–12. Its female inflorescence is 3–7 cm long. Male and female flowers are yellow, and the female flowers are larger than the male flowers.
Fruits Each fruiting cluster (infructescence) contains 2–9 fruits. Its fruits are egg-shaped, smooth or wrinkled, yellow, orange or red when ripe, and 4–7 by 3–4.5 cm. Its seeds are ovoid, and possess an orange, fleshy covering (aril).
Habitat It grows in lowland, heath and ridge-top forests, up to 500 m altitude. It occurs locally in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. Its aril-covered seeds are eaten by hornbills and other forest frugivores.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Horsfieldia, named after Dr. Thomas Horsfield (1773–1859), an American botanist who explored in the Malesian islands; wallichii, named after Nathaniel Wallich (1786–1854), originally Nathan Wolff, Danish botanist, and superintendent of the Calcutta Botanic Garden from 1814–1841, during which he contributed immensely to the knowledge of the Indian flora

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for planting along streetscapes and parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

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
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Lanceolate, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 31807
Species ID 6207
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.