Where seen? According to Hsuan Keng, it was formerly a
native tree at Changi coast but considered extinct. It is now sometimes
found on rocky and sandy coastal areas and back mangroves, ostensibly
dispersed from cultivated trees. This showy tree is also extensively
planted as a roadside tree in Singapore as it is drought-resistant,
which makes it well adapted to Singapore’s sunny urban conditions.
Its wide-spreading, umbrella-shaped crown also provides excellent
shade. Hugh Tan considers it "one of the prettiest of our native
trees". It was also called Peltophorum ferrugineum. According
to Corners, it was a common sea shore tree on rocky and sandy coasts
Features: A tree that usually
grows to 15m (up to 35m). Dark green leaves made up of many little
leaflets. The leaves are usually shed after dry weather, in our region
usually in January-February and in July-August. The fragrant yellow
flower (3cm) has wrinkled petals, several flowers emerging on a long
stalk. During the flowering season, the entire tree may be covered
in yellow blossoms. The fruit is a brown, flat woody winged purple-brown
pod with up to 4 seeds that look like sunflower seeds. The pods remain
on the tree for several months. Bark is smooth and grey. The tree
grows well in poor soils because it contains nitrogen fixing bacteria
in its roots.
Human uses: According to Burkill, the tree is commonly
planted not just for its beauty but also as a shade tree and a good
roadside tree as it sends its roots deep and does not disturb pavements.
It is also used to shade coffee and to recover lallang infested land.
The leaves can also be fed to cattle. The timber is considered strong
by some, but assessed as not durable by others. Considerable quantities
of the bark were used to produce a yellow-brown dye for the batik
industry in Java. The bark was also used for treatment of dysentery,
sprains, muscular aches, ulcers, eye lotions, gargles and tooth powders.
Heritage Tree: There are two Yellow-flame
trees with Heritage
Tree status; at the Singapore River bank, opposite 1 Fullerton
Hotel with a girth of 3.07m and height 20m; and at Renci Hospital
car-park, Bassein Rd with a girth of 5.6m and height 25m.
Growing at the
a natural cliff, facing the sea.
St. John's Island, Jul 09
near the high water mark.
Pulau Semakau, Dec 08
John's Island, Sep 09
Jawa, Jan 10
- Hsuan Keng,
S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan.1998, The
Concise Flora of Singapore II: Monoctyledons
Singapore University Press. 215 pp.
- Tan, Hugh
T.W. and T. Morgany. 2001. Growing
the Native Plants of Singapore. BP Science Centre Guidebook.
- Tee Swee
Ping and Wee Mei Lynn (eds). 2001. Trees of our Garden City.
National Parks Board. 202 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.