Native to Singapore. A tree that can grow to more than 30 m tall with a massive crown. Leaves are pinnate compound with 3 to 4 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are thinly velvety on the lower surface. Flowers are in bunches. The fruits are distinctive. They are pods: flat, round to oblong, with stiff spines, black, woody and splitting open along one side to expose 1-2 round or oval seeds.
When fruiting, Sepetir trees are easily recognized by their prickly seed pods. This is one of the indigenous valuable timber trees known as Sepetir. The timber provides a light hard wood. The pods are medicinal: a lotion is prepared from them and applied on the head or abdomen after childbirth.
Professor E.J.H. Corner noted in his famous book, Wayside Trees of Malaya (1988) that a tall S. wallichii once stood at Changi and was featured on pre-war sea navigation charts for over a century. S. wallichii became associated with the name Changi when people refer to this Tree as the Changi tree.
The famous "Changi tree" mentioned by Prof E.J.H Corner was destroyed in 1942 by the British forces because it was so tall that the Japanese used it as a marker to aim their guns during World War 2. This Heritage Tree could possibly be one of the progeny of that famous Changi tree.
This Heritage Tree had a girth of 4.2m when measured in Year 2003. In May 2012, Red-breasted Parakeets were seen to have made their nests on this Tree.