coastal plants
Mengkudu akar
Morinda umbellata

updated Nov 10
Where seen? This pretty climber with bright orange fruits is often seen in coastal forests, including natural cliffs. It is also found inland. According to Hsuan Keng, it was found in open sandy places including Kranji, Changi and Pulau Ubin. 'Mengkudu akar' which means 'climbing Mengkudu'.

Features: A climbing shrub, it has elegant leaves that are thin, leathery, narrow and 7-12cm long. The small white flowers appear in clusters on long stalks arranged like rays of a star. The little compound fruits are green and turn orange.

Human uses: According to Burkill, the roots are used to produce a yellow dye. Boiled roots and leaves are used in traditional medicine. In India, the fruits may be eaten while green in curries and when raw when ripe. The tough stems are used as ropes in Sri Lanka.

Labrador, May 09

Pulau Ubin, May 09


  • Morinda umbellata on Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Online: photos and fact sheet.

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