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Sindora × changiensis


Sindora × changiensis L.M.Choo, Loo, W.F.Ang & K.Er

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

Sindora × changiensis is a fertile hybrid between Sindora coriacea and Sindora echinocalyx. It is so far only known to occur naturally from Changi at the north-eastern coast of Singapore.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
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 Broad / Mushroom / Hemispherical
Maximum Height 27 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 1.5 m


Native Distribution Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native hybrid

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 27 m tall, without buttress roots. The trunk can reach up to 1.5 m wide and have slightly raised rings around the girth. The bark is grey to black and slightly cracked or flaky.
Foliage The leaves are compound, even-pinnate (paripinnate) and in alternate arrangement. Each leaf comprises of 6 – 8 leaflets. Leaflets are elliptic shaped (3.5 – 6.8 cm long and 2.3 – 3.5 cm wide), slightly curved and leathery texture. Upper surface is slightly glossy, while the lower surface is covered with a waxy bloom (glaucous) or densely covered with tiny short golden hairs (puberulous). The tip of the leaflet is acuminate to obtuse with a very slight notch (emarginate) while the base is rounded to obtuse. The midrib is flat or slightly sunken on the upper surface while raised on the underside. Two glands are present on leaflets. One of them occurs on the tip of the midrib on the underside while the other occurs on the thickened marginal vein close to the base. The stipule is semicircular (1.2 – 1.4 cm long) and falls off early. The leaf stalk (petiole) is 2 – 3 cm long.
Flowers Occurring on the terminal and axillary part of the branches, the inflorescence is a branched cluster (panicle), about 11.5 – 25 cm long and 5 – 8 cm wide. Bracts and bracteoles fall off early. Each flower is surrounded by 4 unequal sepals where the outer surface of the sepals has small golden hairs while the inner surface is densely covered with long golden flattened hairs. Each flower has a petal nestled within the largest sepal, and ten stamens. These stamens occur in two bundles which are fused at the base. The longest filament is 12 – 15 mm long. Nine stamens bear pollens while the remaining one stamen on the other side of the flower is a sterile staminode. Ovary is almost diamond shaped and mostly covered with long dense hairs, except on the three strips where the hairs are less dense.
Fruit The woody fruit pod is sparely spiny, flattened disc-shaped (7 – 8 cm long and 6 – 6.5 cm wide) with a beak. Armed with about 20 (or less) short spines on the outer surface, the fruit pod turns from green to brown and splits open when ripe. Each pod contains one seed which is attached to a yellowish-brown fleshy aril (2.2 – 2.6 cm long). The seed is black, smooth and about 2 – 2.5 cm long.
Habitat It is found in tropical lowland forest.
Similar Sindora × changiensis has characters which are both intermediate between the two parents and also a mix of characters from either parent. Fruit pod as well as the flowers are key to tell them apart. S. × changiensis has sparsely spiny fruit pods, smooth and unarmed calyx, and ovary which is densely hairy and without spines. On the other hand, S. coriacea has non-spiny fruit pods, smooth and unarmed calyx, and ovary which is mostly hairy with a glabrous patch in the centre. While S. echinocalyx has densely spiny fruit pods, spiny calyx, and ovary which is hairy with small blunt spines under the hairs.
Associated Fauna It is observed to be pollinated by giant honeybee (Apis dorsata)
Taxonomy Sindora × changiensis is a fertile and natural hybrid between Sindora coriacea and Sindora echinocalyx.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology The genus Sindora comes from its native Sumatra vernacular name, Sindur. Latin changiensis, refers to Changi, Singapore, the place where it occurs naturally.
Ethnobotanical Uses Cultural / Religious: Heritage Tree: There is currently one individual of Sindora × changiensis listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. Carbon dating has estimated this tree to be at least 226 years old. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bee-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

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


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Brown
Foliar Type Compound (Even-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Obtuse, Emarginate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Cracked, Peeling / Flaking / Papery
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal, Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Papilionaceous / Pea-shaped
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Period Once Yearly
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Thorny / Spiny
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black
Mature Seed Texture(s) Smooth
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)


References Choo, L.M., Loo, A.H.B., Ang, W.F. and Er, K.B.H. (2022). A natural hybrid of Sindora (Fabaceae, Detarioideae) from Singapore. PhytoKeys 190: 87 – 102. 

Image Repository



Master ID 34208
Species ID 8621
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 August 2023.