Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Macaranga triloba (Thunb.) Müll.Arg

Species:M. triloba


This is a small tree that grows to 20 m tall. The bark is smooth and light grey-brown with hoop marks. The leaves and twigs are mostly glabrous. Leaves are ovate to broadly ovate, peltate and with margins that appear serrated due to prominent nectarines at the margins. Ovate to ovate elliptic stipules are erect, corieous and slightly recurved. Fruits are subglobose, with carpels that develop long horn-like processes. The fruits measure 6-8 by 10-13 mm and are covered in yellow, sticky exudates. 

M. bancana, which is widespread in western Malesia, was mistaken previously as M. trilloba. M. triloba is similar to M. bancana in the trilobed leaves but erect, stipules that do not encircle the stem, fruits with long horn-like processes and solid twigs, differentiate it from M. bancana.

Read more about the Malpighiales order.
Read more about the Euphorbiaceae family.


Peninsular Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Philippines

General Biology

M. triloba is an early successional species found in the lowlands up to 1400 m in elevation. It occupies a large range of habitats, from dryland dipterocarp to edges of swamp forests. 


Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Corner, E. J. H., 1988. Wayside trees of Malaya. Third Edition. Volumes 1-2. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 861 pp.

Whitmore, T.C. 1972. Tree flora of Malaya. Vol. 2. Malayan Forest Records No. 26. Longman, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 444 pp

Whitmore, T.C., Davies, S.J., Slik, J.W.F., van Welzen P.C. & Takeuchi, W. Malesian Euphorbiaceae Descriptions. 66. Macaranga in Flora Malesiana.  (Editors) Coode M.J.E. & Hoffmann P. http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/euphorbs/specM/Macaranga.htm


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