Finlaysonia obovata Wall

Etymology Genus After George Finlayson, a surgeon and naturalist
Species Reverse egg-shaped; referring to the leaf shape
Family Apocynaceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Kalak Kambing, Oyod Kambing
Status Native: Critically Endangered
Form Woody climber
Native Distribution Bay of Bengal, through Southeast Asia to Moluccas, and Australia (Northern Territory)


Finlaysonia obovata is found exclusively in mangroves. The leaves are oppositely arranged, normally obovate (sometimes elliptic) in shape, with distinct secondary and tertiary veins on the underside, as well as having reddish petioles (though not always). White sap is produced after breaking the leaves, a feature typical of the family.

Interesting Facts:

In Singapore, it can be found in most mangrove patches. This includes the mangroves in Berlayar Creek, Pasir Ris Park, Khatib Bongsu, Kranji Nature Trail, Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Kadut canal, Woodlands Town Garden, Jenal Jetty, Seletar Wet-Gap, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Sungei Mandai, Pulau Ubin, and Pulau Unum (Ang et al., 2010; Yeo, 2012).

The fruits are quite distinctive. They come in a pair (typical of Apocynaceae), the skin is furrowed and the ends of each fruit is extended, giving the appearance of a pair of inverted horns. Therefore, the literal translation (according to Google) of its Malay name Kalak Kambing is "Goat Inverse".

Kalak Kambing is a woody climber.

Obovate leaves, with distinct secondary and tertiary veins, and red petiole.

Stem turns woody with age.

The flowers are small and fluffy.

Paired fruits with ridges and pointy ends.

Fruit split to disperse flattened seeds.


Ang WF, PX Ng, S Teo, AFSL Lok & HTW Tan. (2010) The status and distribution in Singapore of Finlaysonia obovata Wall. (Apocynaceae). Nature in Singapore, 3: 7-11.
Yeo R. (2012) Kalak Kambing (Finlaysonia obovata). Accessed on 22-Jan-2013.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-01-22 / Modified: 2017-12-25