Where seen? This beautiful bush can grow tall. It is commonly
seen along the forest trail to Chek Jawa. It is considered common
throughout Malaya especially in lowlying swampy ground. According
to Hsuan Keng, it was found in secondary forest in Changi and Kranji.
Features: A shrub to small tree
(2-3m). Bark pale and somewhat fissured. Leaves are large (15-30cm),
fleshy and leathery, dark green and glossy. Flowers (2cm wide) white
crowded on a spike (6-14cm long) that emerges under the leaves. Fruits
oval with a pointed tip. According to Corners, there is a variety
with the flowers more loosely arranged on the inflorescence. It flowers
seasonally, usually twice a year.
Human uses: According to Burkill the plant is "much
used by the Malays in medicine", and its name "Sepuleh"
means "the restorer" in Malay. The roots are used in a treatment
for fever, leaves used in a tonic, to treat fevers, rheumatism. It
so closely resembles a coffee bush that it is also called the False
coffee plant or 'Kopi Hutan' which means 'Coffee of the Forest'. But
none of its uses involve anything vaguely similar to that of real
Status and threats: This plant
is listed as 'Endangered' in the Red List of threatened plants of
Chek Jawa, Jul 07
Chek Jawa, Mar 02
Chek Jawa, Oct 01
Chek Jawa, May 09
Chek Jawa, Dec 09
Chek Jawa, Dec 09
|Sepuleh on Singapore shores
- 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.
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.
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.