Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Rapanea porteriana

Rapanea porteriana, also known as Kicar, is native to Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Borneo. It is from the family Myrsinaceae.

This evergreen small tree can reach a maximum height of 10m.

The leaves are dark green when matured and arranged in a spiral. It measures from 12-25mm wide by 36-80mm in length. Numerous oil glands are found on the leaf blades, like minute lenses, they are visible when a fresh leaf is held up against a light source. This is a characteristic of plants in the Myrsinaceae family.
White, yellow or golden the flowers are located in axils (angles between leaf stalk and branch) of present or fallen leaves. They are tiny, only about 3 mm wide.

The fruit grows on the older wood which is well below the leaf-bearing portion of the shoot. Measuring 5-6 mm wide, the fruit is pale green, turning pinkish purple when ripening. It is known that Bulbul’s are attracted to the fruit. Each fruit contains only one seed.

It is once commonly found in the mangrove and coastal areas, however, due to the major increasing rate of urbanization, much habitat of this plant is loss, thus making it vulnerable in Singapore.

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