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Utania nervosa


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Utania nervosa is a tree that usually grows to 1 -5 m tall. 
Trunk Bark is grey brown to dark brown and mostly smooth (sometimes slightly fissured).
Foliage Leaves are smooth, elliptical (20 -31 cm long and 11 – 15 cm wide) with petiole (5 – 12 mm long). Leaf has 10 -16 pairs of secondary veins. Veins are sunken on the upper surface of leaf blade and protruding on the underside of leaf blade. 
Flowers Inflorescence (0.8 – 2 cm long) is densely crowded with cream yellow to white flowers, and hangs pendulous at the terminal end. Branching tiers are very often closely spaced. 
Fruit Fruits are smooth (about 1.4 to 1.8 cm long) and compactly clustered together as a result of closely spaced fruiting tiers. Fruit apex is beaked and base clasped by calyx lobes. Seeds slightly elongated (0.15 cm to 0.2 cm long). 
Similar Utania nervosa and U. racemosa are very similar. You can tell them apart by looking at the secondary veins. U. nervosa has 10–16 pairs while U. racemosa has 5–7 pairs. U. nervosa also has a thicker flower stalk (5 – 6 mm diameter), as compared to U. racemosa (2 – 4 mm diameter).  
Associated Flora Utania nervosa was previously misidentified as Fagraea racemosa by Leenhouts (1962). 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Suitable for Roadsides, Parks & Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green


References Sugumaran. M & Wong K.M. 2014. Studies in Malesian Gentianaceae, VI. A revision of Utania in the Malay Peninsula with two new species. Plant Ecology and Evolution . 147. 2. 213-223

Image Repository



Master ID 32874
Species ID 7288
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: 26 May 2023.