Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Gmelina asiatica


Gmelina asiatica L.

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Common Name: Bulangan, 亚洲石梓


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 10 m


Native Distribution South China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, and Java.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Spontaneous (Naturalised))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a bushy, spiny shrub up to 10 m tall, with yellowish or brownish-white smooth bark.
Foliage Its opposite, stalked leaves have membranous, entire or 3–5-lobed leaf blades that are usually drop-shaped to narrowly drop-shaped, dark green above, green below, covered with fine hair, 2–4 by 1–3 cm, and have 2–3 pairs of veins.
Flowers Its flowers are yellow, 4 cm long, covered with fine hair on the outer surface, and arranged in clusters.
Fruit Its drupe (fruit) is pear-shaped, yellow when ripe.
Habitat It grows in open habitats, gaps and margins, forest edges, thickets, dry forests, and secondary vegetation, from sea level up to 500 m altitude. It occurs locally in Pulau Ubin and other sites.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Gmelina, commemorating Johann G. Gmelin (1709-1755), a German naturalist and traveller in Siberia, professor of botany at Tübingen University; Latin asiatica, of Asia, referring to the natural distribution of this species
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: It is used as a demulcent and alterative. Its root is employed as a blood purifier and in the treatment of rheumatism, incontinence, gonorrhoea and syphilis as well as for infections of the bladder and to promote micturition. Its macerated leaves are used in urogenital affections. Soaking the leaves in water renders a mucilaginous mixture, which is credited with antibacterial properties. An infusion of the shoots is used internally, against rheumatism, yaws and nervous diseases.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks for its attractive yellow flowers and ornamental foliage.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire, Palmately Lobed

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Individual Flower Shape Campaulate / Bell-shaped

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 31883
Species ID 6284
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: 08 December 2022.