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  Memecylon edule Roxb.
  Family Name : Melastomataceae

  Synonyms : Memecylon pyrifolium, Memecylon globiferum

  Common Names : Nipis Kulit, Delek Air, Delek Bangas, Kaayam, Nemaaru

Nipis Kulit,Delek Air,Delek Bangas,Kaayam,Nemaaru
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Shrubby (1m-5m)), Shrub (Woody)
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      3 m to 7 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      India, Indochina, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Coastal Forest), Shoreline (Sandy Beach)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Big shrub or small shrubby tree, usually 3-7m tall, sometimes reaching 12m height.
      Trunk: Single or multiple. Bark greyish-brown, finely ridged and papery-thin -- hence its Malay name Nipis Kulit ("thin skin").
      Foliage: Leaves opposite, sub-leathery with indistinct veins, blades 3.8-7.6cm long by 2.5-3.8cm wide, petiole very short (up to 0.6cm), apex bluntly acute, margins upcurled. Young leaves glossy red.
      Flowers: Small (6.35mm across), petals and calyxes pink, topped by blue-stalked stamens, very fragrant, clustered into small panicle inflorescences arising directly from twigs at leaf axils.
      Fruits: Small globular berries, with persistent calyx at base, borne in small axillary bunches, ripening from green to yellow to black, pulp eaten by birds.
      [Others]: Conservation Status: Native to Singapore, endangered.
      Habitat :
      Occurring in lowland forests, at coastal cliffs, as thickets along sandy to rocky seashores.
      Similar :
      Resembles and often mistaken for Memecylon ovatum whose slightly-scented flowers have blue petals and blue-stalked stamens; whose fruits ripen from green to red to black; and whose leaves are larger (6.3-11.4cm by 3.8-6.3cm) with pointed tips and longer petioles (0.6-1.3cm). Differentiated from the blue-flowered Memecylon oleifolium, whose leaves have distinctly caudate (tail-like) tips.
      Cultivation :
      Slow-growing. Takes full sun to bright shade. Tolerant of saline soils. If grown as tree, prune periodically and remove water shoots from trunk for better form. Propagate by stem-cuttings, air-layering or seeds.
      Etymology :
      Genus epithet 'Memecylon' derived from 'memaecylon' -- as used by ancient Greek philosophers Dioscorides and Pliny to describe the red fruits of Arbutus unedo (Oriental Strawberry Tree) -- alluding to the pink to reddish berries often produced by members of the 'Memecylon' genus. Species epithet 'edule' means 'edible', a reference to the edible but insipid fruits.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable; Herb & Spice)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits), Medicinal, Timber & Products
      [Others]: Timber: Wood used for rafters, house posts, fuelwood and charcoal. Food: Ripe fruits sometimes eaten, pulp has rather astringent quality. Products: Yellow dye and mordant can be extracted from leaves, used for dyeing silk in Thailand. Medicinal: Leaves have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, traditionally used to heal burns and wounds without scarring. Bark applied as poultice to bruises. Leaf decoction used to treat gonorrhoea in India, while leaves and roots are used to treat dysentery. Root and heartwood decoction used to bring down fever associated with colds, chicken pox and measles.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits, Fragrant (Flowers: Day)
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Poor Infertile Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Hedge / Screening, Container Planting
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Naturalistic Garden
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Smooth, Leathery, Thick
      Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) :
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate; Elliptical)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Trunk Type (Non-Palm) :
      Stem Type & Modification :
      Root Type :
      Underground (Tap Root; Fibrous Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Blue, Pink
      Flower Symmetry :
      Flower Size :
      Remarks (6.35mm across)
      Inflorescence Type :
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Fleshy Fruit (Non-Accessory Fruit: Berry)
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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