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Cynometra mannii


Cynometra mannii Oliv.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

Cynometra mannii is a tree, up to 18 m tall with distinctly notched leaf tip. Young leaves are red and tassel-like, and they gradually turn green over time. The tree produces timber which is occasionally used to make fish traps.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 18 m


Native Distribution Africa
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 18 m tall. The trunk sometimes produces prop roots.
Foliage Leaves are compound and spirally arranged. Each leaf comprises of 3 pairs of leaflets. They are leathery, obovate to oblanceolate with a narrow and distinctly notched leaf tip (emarginate). Young leaves emerge red and tassel-like. They gradually turn green as they mature.
Flowers Flowers occur in a cluster (raceme) at the axis or terminal end of the branches. Inflorescence is short (about 3.8 cm long) and comprises of many white flowers. Each flower has 5 oblong to oval petals and 10 stamens.
Fruit The fruit is obovoid (about 3.1 to 3.8 cm long) and wrinkled. The fruit generally does not split open. However, when the specimen is being dried and pressed, it would split open along the axes perpendicular to the seam of the carpel (sutures).
Habitat It is found in along rivers banks and forest margin.
Associated Fauna Flowers are pollinated by insects.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Genus Cynometra is from the Greek words "kynos" which means "a dog" and "metra" which means "womb" and they refer to the shape of the fruit pod. The specific epithet mannii is named after Gustav Mann (1835–1916), a German plant collector for Kew in West Africa and forester of Indian Forest Service.
Ethnobotanical Uses Others: The wood is occasionally used to make fish traps.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Well-Drained Soils


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal
Inflorescence Type Raceme



Hutchinson, J. & Dalziel, J.M. (eds) (1954). Flora of West Tropical Africa. vol. 2 and 3. London: Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations.

Oliver, D. (1871). Flora of Tropical Africa. vol 2, pp. vii – 613. London: L. Reeve & Co. 

Radosavljevic, A. (2019). The rise of Cynometra (Leguminosae) and the fall of Maniltoa: a generic re-circumscription and the addition of 4 new species. PhytoKeys 127: 1 – 37. 

Image Repository



Master ID 33827
Species ID 8243
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 January 2023.