Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Donella lanceolata


Donella lanceolata (Blume) Aubrév.

Family Name: Sapotaceae
Synonyms: Chrysophyllum roxburghii G.Don, Chrysophyllum lanceolatum (Blume) A.DC.

Donella lanceolata is a small to medium-sized tree native to Singapore. Growing to 18 m tall, the young twigs are covered in fine red hairs, leaves are glossy, elongated or lance-shaped with a tail-like tip. Flowers are small, cream-white, fragrant, borne on an inflorescence of 5 to many-flowered along the axils. The fruit is yellow, round to faintly lobed, pulpy, with 5 bright brown, flattened seeds.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m), Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia and adjacent islands, Sumatra, Java and the Philippines and Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a bushy, small to medium-sized tree that grows between 12 - 18 m tall. Young twigs are covered in fine, red hairs.
Foliage Leaves are glossy, elongated, lance-shaped, measuring 11.4 - 15.2 cm long by 3 - 3.8 cm wide with a narrow tail-like tip. Lateral veins are very fine, numerous, almost straight and parallel, linked by a fine nearly straight intra-marginal nerve close along the margin.
Flowers Flowers are borne on an inflorescence of 5 to many-flowered, found along the axils. They are small, cream white, fragrant, bell-shaped, 5 to 7 overlapping lobes, measuring 25mm wide.
Fruit The fruit is round to faintly lobed, pulpy, measuring 2.5 - 3.8 cm wide, ripening to yellow. Each fruit contains 5 bright brown, flattened seeds, about 1.5 cm long.
Habitat Occur in forests; lowland forest. <1&2>

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Flowers)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Recticulate
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Caudate
Foliar Base Oblique / Asymmetrical

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers , Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Berry
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)


References <1> Ng, F.S.P. (1972). Tree Floral of Malaya, vol. 1, pp. 396. Kuala Lumpur: Forest Research Institute.

<2> Ridley, H.N., et al. (1923). Flora of the Malay Peninsula, vol. 2, pp.257. London: L. Reeve & Co., Ltd.

Image Repository



Master ID 32189
Species ID 6595
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: 09 May 2024.