Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Baccaurea parviflora (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg.

Species:B. parviflora
Common Names:Setambun Merah, Wild Rambai


Small trees (up to 6 m high) with ellptic, glabrous leaves (10–20 cm). The spirally arranged leaves have long petioles with a swelling at the top. Its young leaves are pinkish in colour.

It has small, yellowish green, unisexual flowers on long racemes which have a lemon-like scent. Female inflorescences are found on reddish stalks at the base of tree trunks whereas male inflorescences are smaller and are on ring-like burs found on the trunk.

Cauliflorous fruit bunches also form at the base of tree, seen lying on the ground. The fruit, which is oblong and pulpy, turns from dark red to purplish black when ripe. It splits into three valves, exposing 1-3 pulpy arillate seeds. The fruit is edible.

The wood is dense and hard, lined by a very thin layer of bark.

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


Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Borneo

General Biology

Grows well in lowland forests but not in open country. New leaves and flowers form according to seasons, typically after dry spells.

Human Uses

Fruits can be consumed by humans. The wood can be used as boxwood.

Other Resources

Plants of Southeast Asia. http://www.asianplant.net/. (Accessed 17 Aug 2011).


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.

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