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Kunstleria ridleyi Prain

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Caterpillar Food Plant Native to Singapore Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status 1 Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A climber which can grow 3 - 12 m high, with stem up to 12.5 cm girth. 
Foliage Each leaflet has 5 - 9 leaflets and reticulated margin. The leaflets are elliptic to ovate, sometimes obovate. Leaflet blade is generally smooth, with acute or acuminate apex, and rounded to subcordate base. Terminal leaflet is smooth, 3.5 - 11 cm long and 1.5 - 5 cm wide while leaflets are sparsely to densely pubescent (hairy), more or less symmetrical.
Stems Stems are smooth with small round, wart-like lenticels. Bark is smooth with tiny ridges. 
Flowers Panicle inflorescence are brownish to deep black purple or blue black in colour and pubescent. Each papilionate flower has a short pedicel of up to 1.5 mm, sometimes almost sessile. 
Fruits Fruits are pods, 8 - 10 cm by 2 cm, yellow brown. Pods are covered with silky brownish hairs. 
Habitat Found commonly on hill, blackish soil or stony area, in primary forest. 
Associated Fauna Host plant for the caterpillar Hasora schoenherr chuza (Yellow Banded Awl)
Etymology The genus Kunstleria is named in honour of H.H. Kunstler, a plant collector in Malaysia. The specific epithet ridleyi is named in honour of H.N. Ridley.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Trellis / Arbour / Pergola

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant

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) Leathery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green - Light Green, White
Foliar Type Compound (Odd-Pinnate)
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Obovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Recticulate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Acuminate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse, Cordate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Black, Purple
Flower Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Papilionaceous / Pea-shaped
Inflorescence Type Panicle

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Papery, Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Legume / Pod

Image Repository



Master ID 32258
Species ID 6666
Species record last updated on: 17 May 2019.