Where seen? This tree with beautiful blue flowers is rare.
There are several on the rocky cliffsides of Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin
and Labrador, as well as some at our offshore islands including Sentosa
and Pulau Jong. Elsewhere, it is common on sandy and rocky shores.
The Malay name for the Memecylon trees is 'Nipis Kulit' which
means 'thin skin' refering to their thin bark.
Features: A small tree (3-7m tall).
Bark greyish brown, finely ridged and very thin.
Leaves eye-shaped (3-7cm) so leathery that the veins are hard to see,
does not produce latex when broken. Young leaves are glossy red.
Flowers tiny (0.5cm) many in ball-shaped cluster, calyx pink with
bright blue petals and stamens. The flowers are said to be very fragrant.
Fruit globular (1cm), green ripening to pinkish then yellow and black.
Human uses: According to Burkill, the wood is very hard
and heavy and good for house posts, rafters. It is an excellent fuel
and makes good charcoal. After cutting, the stump coppices well. The
fruit is said to be 'just edible'. In India, the leaves were used
for a yellow dye. The leaves are part of a 'decoction of considerable
reputation' in India for the treatment of gonorrhoea. The bark is
used to poultice bruises.
Status and threats: It is listed as 'Endangered' on the
Red List of threatened plants of Singapore.
dip in seawater at high tide.
Jawa, Oct 09
Chek Jawa, Jul 08
air on Singapore shores
edule on Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Online: photos
and fact sheet.
edule on the NParks Flora and Fauna website: photos and
- Hsuan Keng,
S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan. 1990, The
Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons.
Singapore University Press. 222 pp.
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.
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.
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.