Urophyllum hirsutum (Wight) Hook. f.

Etymology Genus Tailed (Uro) Leaves (phyllum); referring to its leaves with long narrow drip tips
Species Hairy
Family Rubiaceae
Synonyms Axanthes hirsuta Wight, Wendlandia bifaria Wall.
Common Names Hairy Urophyllum
Status Native: Endangered
Form Shrub or small tree
Native Distribution Southern Thailand to Singapore, and Borneo


Urophyllum hirsutum is a shrub or small tree about 3m tall. It is covered with dense white hairs on the twigs and lower surface of the leaves. A useful diagnostic is to search for its stipules found between the younger leaves (it will shed off eventually). It is hairy, long, and tapering to a point, with a raised ridge at the middle.

Interesting Facts:

This shrub can be found commonly in Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves, as well as the Singapore Botanic Gardens' Jungle (Keng, 1990; LaFrankie, 2005). The shrub is shade tolerant and can also be found along forest fringes.

Form of the Hairy Urophyllum.

The leaves upper and underside.

The diagnostic long and narrow stipule. Note the hairy twigs.

Female flower clusters.

Ripe and developing berries.


Keng H. (1990) The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore University Press, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 364 pp.
LaFrankie JV, SJ Davies, LK Wang, SK Lee & SKY Lum. (2005) Forest Trees of Bukit
Timah: Population Ecology in a Tropical Forest Fragment. Simply Green, Singapore. 178 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-04-17 / Modified: 2017-12-25