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  Gnetum gnemon L.
  Family Name : Gnetaceae

  Common Names : Belinjau, Meninjau, Bago, Gnemon Tree, Maninjau, Minjau, Songkok, Spanish Joint Fir

  Chinese Name : 灌状买麻藤

Belinjau,Meninjau,Bago,Gnemon Tree,Maninjau,Minjau,Songkok,Spanish Joint Fir
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Gymnosperms (Non-Flowering Seed Plants) (Gnetum)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Conical, Columnar
      Maximum Height :
      22 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      From Assam, through Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, to Sumba, Celebes, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Fiji
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest; Secondary Rainforest; Coastal Forest; Riverine), Shoreline (Backshore; Rocky Beach)
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is usually a tree or shrub, and has a single straight trunk marked with conspicuous rings.
      Crown: Its crown is narrow conical to column-like, with short drooping branches.
      Foliage: Its opposite, stalked leaves have slightly leathery leaf blades that are oval to lance-shaped, dark green, and 7.5–20 by 2.5–10 cm.
      Flowers: This species is dioecious and produces male and female cones on different trees at the leaf axils.. The branched or unbranched male cones are 2.5–7.6 cm long, and bear whorls of tiny microsporophylls and aborted ovules at each joint. The female cones are 5–13 cm long, bear 5–8 ovules at each joint.
      Fruits: Its seeds are covered by a fleshy layer then a tough husk surrounding a starchy interior, and which ripen from green to yellow to orange to red. The seeds are oval, almost velvety, glaucous, and 2–7 cm long.
      Habitat :
      It grows in rainforest, rocky islands, riverbanks, and headlands, up to 1,200 m altitude. It occurs locally in Pulau Tekong.
      Associated Fauna :
      It is insect-pollinated, and its seeds are probably dispersed by birds.
      Cultivation :
      It is best propagated by seeds, but this may take up to a year. Faster propagation methods include making cuttings, layering, and grafting. 
      Etymology :
      Latin Gnetum, and gnemon,, both of which are derived from the Moluccan name of the tree, ganema
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves; Edible Seeds)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: Its young leaves, flowering shoots and fruits are edible when cooked. The kernel of the seed is made into cracker (emping or emping belinjau).)
      Medicinal (The roots are used as an antidote for poison, and as a medicine for malaria.), Timber & Products (Its wood is used for wharfing rafts and boats. Its branches may be used for making barrels.), Cultural / Religious (

      Heritage Tree:
      There is currently one individual of Gnetum gnemon listed as Heritage Tree in Singapore. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.
      [Others]: The inner bark provides a fibre, which is made into string bags known as bilum, bow strings, fishing lines, nets, lightweight cord, and caulking boats. 
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      It is a suitable plant for roadside verges or small gardens as it has a narrow, cylindrical crown so making it ideal for avenues of trees.
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Seeds, Ornamental Form
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Dry Soils / Drought, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Fertile Loamy Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Riverine
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna)
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting, Grafting, Air-Layering
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Oval; Lanceolate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Unisexual Flowers (Dioecious)
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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