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Syzygium conglomeratum (Duthie) I.M.Turner

Family Name: Myrtaceae
Synonyms: Eugenia conglomerata Duthie
Common Name: Selembat

Syzygium conglomeratum, also known as Selembat, is a tree, once thought to be extinct in Singapore. Found in swamp forest, it stands at 27 m tall and the flowers occur in a cluster as a short fascicled spike on the older branches.

Full Sun Lots of Water Moderate Water Native to Singapore Tree

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Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 27 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 0.6 m

Biogeography

Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Presumed Nationally Extinct (NEx))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 27 m tall and 60 cm in girth. Buttresses can reach up to 2 m tall. The bark is reddish brown and scaly.
Foliage Leaves are leathery, oblanceolate to narrowly obovate (5 – 10 cm long and 2 – 5.5 cm wide). The leaf tip is subacute or rounded while the leaf base is narrow (attenuate). Each leaf has 8 – 12 pairs of lateral veins which are very faintly visible and curving up to a very obscure intra-marginal nerve. The petiole is up to 1 cm long.
Flowers The flowers occur in a cluster as a short fascicled spike on the older branches, below the leaves. Flowers are sessile and small. The calyx is cup-shaped (2.5 mm long) with 4 persistent lobes, and ranges from red to purple colour. Each flower has 4 white petals that are rounded and sparsely gland dotted. Stamens are white, short and numerous. Filaments are needle-like (up to 2.5 mm long) with oblong anthers at the tip. Style is short (less than 1 mm long) and 4-angled.
Fruits Fruit is round (about 1 cm diameter) and slightly flattened at the top. It is berry-like, fleshy, and turns dark purplish red when ripe. The apical calyx rim is not prominent while the 4 persistent calyx lobes become incurved and fleshy. Each fruit contains one seed, about 0.5 cm diameter.
Habitat It is found in swamp forest.
Associated Fauna Flowers are pollinated by insects.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Greek syzygos, means joined, referring to the paired leaves of this species. Latin conglomeratum refers to the dense flower clusters.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( The wood is durable and used to build houses. )
[Others]: Once thought to be extinct in Singapore for many years, it is rediscovered in 2006, and the tree is recorded to be flowering and fruiting in 2021. Heritage Trees : There is currently one individual of Syzygium conglomeratum listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found at Mandai Night Safari. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Reforestation, Parks & Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate

Foliar

Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblanceolate, Obovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Rounded
Foliar Base Attenuate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Scaly
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Red, Purple
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Campaulate / Bell-shaped
Inflorescence Type Spike
Flowering Period Rarely
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Purple, Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)

References

References

Henderson, M.R. (1949). The genus eugenia (Myrtaceae) in Malaya. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 12: 1–293. 

Keng, H. (1990). The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore: Singapore University Press. 

Kochummen, K.M. (1978). Myrtaceae. In: Ng, F.S.P. et al. (eds) Tree Flora of Malaya: A Manual for Foresters, vol. 3. Pp. 1–339. Kuala Lumpur: Longman Sdn. Bhd.

Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Soerianegara, I., and Wong, W.C. (Editors). 1995. Plant Resources of South-East Asia Volume 5 (2). Timber Trees: Minor commercial timbers. Indonesia: Prosea Foundation. 655 pages. 

Ridley, H.N. (1922) The Flora of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 1. Pp. i–912. London: L. Reeve & Co.

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Master ID 33993
Species ID 8409
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: 02 December 2021.
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