Ploiarium alternifolium (Vahl) Melch.

Etymology Genus From Greek, ploiarion (small boat) or ploion (floating vessel, ship); referring to the fruit capsule
Species Alternate leaves
Family Bonnetiaceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Cicada Tree, Riang Riang
Status Native: Common
Form Shrub
Native Distribution Indochina, Peninsula Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo


Ploiarium alternifolium is a shrub or small tree that can grow to 15m. It is easy to distinguish from its linear, thick leaves with no apparent veins, and lacking a petiole. They are arranged spirally. It also frequently bears white flowers and capsule fruits, which splits open like an umbrella.

Interesting Facts:

From FloraFaunaWeb (2019), a "decoction of the leaves and roots is used in treating stomachache". 

A small tree at Nee Soon Swamp Forest, 2023.

A small shrub in Kent Ridge Park, 2018.

Thick elongated leaves with no petiole.

Fissured bark on a larger individual in Nee Soon Swamp Forest.

White flower.

Fruit capsules that have split.



FloraFaunaWeb. (2019)  Ploiarium alternifolium  (Vahl) Melch. National Parks Board, Singapore. Accessed on 8-Nov-2019.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2019-11-06 / Modified: 2019-11-08