Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Myristica cinnamomea


Myristica cinnamomea King

Family Name: Myristicaceae
Common Name: Mayong Pahomh, Mendarah, Pala Bukit, Pala Semang, Pendarah


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 Tree (Medium (16m-30m), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 10 m to 30 m


Native Distribution Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Borneo, the Philippines, and Mindanao
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Mountain, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree 10–30 m tall, its base fluted with buttresses, and often with a few stilt roots.
Foliage Its spirally arranged, stalked leaves have papery to thinly leathery leaf blades that are oval-oblong to oblong-lance-shaped, with a pointed tip, glossy olive-green above, grey-brown or silvery-brown below, inconspicuously covered with coppery, golden, or silvery brown hair up to 0.2 mm long, sometimes becoming hairless with age, with midrib flat or somewhat raised above, and have 10–17 lateral veins.
Flowers The plant is dioecious, producing male or female flowers on different plants. Its flowers are greenish to yellow, red inside, covered with yellow-brown hair 0.1 mm long, with an unpleasant smell, and are arranged among the leaves in stalked flowering clusters that are covered with mealy hair 0.1–0.2 mm long. Its male flowering clusters are 1–2.5 cm long and 5–8-flowered. Its female flowering clusters are an up to 3 mm stalked wart, bearing 2–4 flowers.
Fruit Its fruit is broadly ellipsoid or oblong, yellow-brown, 5–9 by 2.5–5 cm, densely covered with mealy rusty hair 0.1 mm long, with a 8–15-mm thick fruit wall, and arranged in a 0.5–2-cm wide cluster of 1–3 fruits. Its seeds are ellipsoid, blackish, 3.5–5.5 cm, covered with a thin bright or dark red aril, and not variegated.
Habitat It grows in lowland and hill mixed dipterocarp forests, ridge forests, kerangas, and transition to submontane forests up to 1000 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Greek myristica, myrrh-fragrant, referring to true nutmeg, Myristica fragrans; Latin cinnamomea, reddish-brown, the colour of the hair covering the lower leaf surface
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Food (Herb and Spice): Its aril has been reported to be spicy. Its seed is aromatic and used in the same way as nutmeg.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks, especially at waterlogged areas.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits, Ornamental Form
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Riverine

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 Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site)
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


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

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden, Red, Green
Flower Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type

Image Repository



Master ID 31888
Species ID 6289
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 August 2021.