Agrostistachys borneensis Becc.

Etymology Genus Grass (Agro) spike (stachys), probably referring to its flowering spikes
Species Borneo (probably first described from)
Family Euphorbiaceae
Synonyms Agrostistachys longifolia (Wight) Benth., Agrostistachys latifolia (Hook.f.) Pax & K.Hoffm.
Common Names Leaf Litter Plant, Jenjulong
Status Native: Common
Form Short tree or shrub
Native Distribution Sumatra, Singapore, Borneo, and Peninular Malaysia


Agrostistachys borneensis is a very common short tree found in the understorey of Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves. The form is very distinct, being short (normally below 3 meters), lacking branches, and with large leaves densely arranged in a rosette near the apex.

Interesting Facts:

The common name Leaf Litter Plant arises from its ability to collect falling dead leaves within its cluster of leaves. Upon decomposition of the dead matter, the plant is able to absorb nutrients directly from small rootlets that grow out from the base of the leaves (Wang et al., 2012). This strategy helps it to be self-sufficient rather than competing for nutrients with other plants on the forest soil.

Form of the Leaf Litter Plant.

The flowers are borne on spikes on the top of the plant.

Collection of dead litter among its rosette of leaves.

The flowers at close up.

3-lobed Capsular fruits.


Wang LK, DCJ Yeo, KKP Lim & SKY Lum. (2012) Private Lives: An Expose of Singapore's Rainforests. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore. 298 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-04-20 / Modified: 2017-12-25