Cyathocalyx ridleyi (King) J.Sinclair, Gard. Bull. Singapore 14: 237 (1955)
Species named after Henry Nicholas Ridley [1855-?], the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Xylopia ridleyi King
A monopodal tree with a tight almost spherical crown supported by a spiral of branches radiating from
the main trunk. Twigs with peeling bark and on cross section, with clearly visible rays radiating from
the center of the twig, densely hairy when young. Stipules absent. Leaves alternate in one plane, resulting
in zig-zag shaped twig, leaves rather large with fat petioles, lower surface whitish and with clearly
visible venation. Inflorescences axillary, grouped in bundles on short stalks. Flowers with small outer
whorl of three setals, and six extremely elongated petals (this is the main differentiating character
with Cyathocalyx ramuliflorus which has short petals), all green coloured. Fruits apocarps with each
carpel being sessile, carpels green and round ca. 3 cm diameter.
This light loving tree tends to grow quickly towards openings in the crown. Often the trunk may be seen
to have many twists and turns, testimony to changing light conditions as the tree grew from sapling.
Found up to 1500 m elevation.
Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo.