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Margaritaria indica


Margaritaria indica (Dalzell) Airy Shaw

Family Name: Phyllanthaceae
Common Name: 蓝子木


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Maximum Height 30 m


Native Distribution India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, northern Vietnam, southern China, Taiwan, Australia, Sumatra, Java, Sarawak, the Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, and the Aru Islands
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 30 m tall, with single or multiple trunks. Bark is scaly-dippled, and peels irregularly, revealing new barks in shades of orange-brown.
Foliage Leaves are papery, elliptic to obovate (3 – 17 cm long and 1.8 – 8.3 cm wide) and in alternate arrangement. Leaves are green on the upper surface green while pale green on the lower surface. There are 6 – 12 pairs of secondary veins, visible on both sides of the leaves and forming faint loops towards the margin. Leaf tip is acute to acuminate while leaf base is cuneate to rounded. Petioles is short (0.35 – 1.1 cm long) and channelled on the upper surface. Stipules are triangular (0.3 cm long), falling off early and leaving a semi-circular stipular scar. Leaves dry characteristically dark brown.
Flowers Male flowers are borne on clusters of 2 – 28 on a stalk (up to 7 mm long).  Each flower comprises of a large flattened disc, free stamens, filament (0.8 – 1.5 mm long) and oblong anthers. Female flowers are borne in clusters of 1 – 7, on a stalk (up to up to 22mm long). Each flower comprises of a disc (1.8 – 2.6mm), stigma (1.5 – 2 mm long) and a style that is bifid at tip.
Fruits Fruit is almost globular (0.7 – 1.2 mm diameter), occurs as 1 – 2 cluster.  Fruit is green, turning brown and splitting into 3 parts as it matures. Seed is triangular (3.5 – 6 mm long and 2.7 – 6 mm wide) with shiny bluish shiny testa and rugose endotesta.
Ethnobotanical Uses Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Trees : There is currently one individual of Margaritaria indica listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found near Yale-NUS College. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.)

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate


References Baker, C. . 2001. Margaritaria (Euphorbiaceae) in Malesia. Blumea. 46. 505-512

Low, Y.W, Leong, P.K.F, Tee, S.P, Singh, R., Tay, M.L.C and Wong, K.M. 2014. Margaritaria (Phyllanthaceae), a new generic record for the Singapore flora. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore . 66. 1. 47-56

Image Repository



Master ID 32379
Species ID 6790
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: 22 November 2022.