pelandok or Seashore ardisia
seen? This shrub with pink star-shaped flowers, and colourful
leaves and berries is now widely planted in our coastal parks. In
the wild, it is found in tidal swamps, muddy and sandy river banks
of tidal estuaries, usually in places only occasionally flooded at
the highest tides. It was previously known as Ardisia littoralis.
Features: A shrub growing to 5m
tall, with a single stem producing short perpendicular branches. Leaves
eye-shaped (10cm long) leathery with veins hardly visible, arranged
in a spiral. Young leaves somewhat pinkish. Twigs are swollen at the
base and easily detached. Flowers small (1cm across) star-shaped,
with five petals white or pink, in a cluster of 6-8 flowers. Fruit
small (0.5-1cm) green berries ripening red to black. 'Mata pelandok'
in Malay means 'Eye of the mousedeer' probably referring to its ripe
black fruits. It is also called 'Mata ayam' or 'Eye of the chicken'
and 'Mata itek' or 'Eye of the duck'.
According to Tomlinson, from the structure of the flowers and the
fact that these produce nectar and a fragrance, the plant seems to
be pollinated by insects. But there are no records of flower visitors.
It is said that birds and other small fruit-eating mammals eat the
uses: According to Burkill, the young shoots were eaten
in the Malay Peninsula. Medicinal uses include boiled leaves or roots
used to treat heartache. Another Malay name is 'Daun bisa hati'
or 'Heartache Leaf'. According to Wee, the Malays use a decoction
of the leaves to treat heart pain. According to Giersen, the leaves
are used to treat scabies and intestinal worms.
Status and threats: It is listed as 'Endangered' on the
Red List of threatened plants of Singapore. But in other parts of
the world outside its natural range, this plant is considered an invasive
introduced weed. Its ability to tolerate shade causes it to form dense
carpets which exclude native plants.
Chek Jawa, Mar 09
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Sep 09
Pasir Ris, Apr 09
Pasir Ris, Apr 09
pelandok on Singapore shores
elliptica on Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Online:
photos and fact sheet.
- Giesen, Wim
and Stephan Wulffraat, Max Zieren and Liesbeth Scholten. 2006.
Guidebook for Southeast Asia (PDF online downloadable).
RAP publication 2006/07 Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok.
elliptica on Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER):
details on about the plant and its spread as a noxious invasive
weed in the Pacific Islands.
- Hsuan Keng,
S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan. 1990, The
Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons.
Singapore University Press. 222 pp.
E. J. H., 1997. Wayside
Trees of Malaya: in two volumes.
Fourth edition, Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. Volume 1:
1-476 pp, plates 1-38; volume 2: 477-861 pp., plates 139-236.
P. B., 1986. The
Botany of Mangroves
Cambridge University Press. USA. 419 pp.
G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore
Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore.
Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
- Wee Yeow
Chin. 1992. A
Guide to Medicinal Plants. The Singapore Science Centre.
I. H., 1993. A
Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula.
3rd printing. Publication Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia,
Kuala Lumpur. Volume 1: 1-1240; volume 2: 1241-2444.