3 What is Simpur? Flowering plants of around 100 species. Also known as Simpoh or Simpor.Consists of trees and shrubs which are evergreen or semi-evergreen.Can grow in various habitats.Simple and spirally arranged leaves.Insect-pollinated: Bees and beetles collect the pollen.Leaves and flowers often eaten by deer.Flowers: Petals are usually transparent yellow and conspicuous. Stamens in the middle of the flower.The appearance is similar to Magnolia flowers.
4 Among the species of Simpur D. alataD. grandifoliaD. pulchellaD. beccarianaD. indicaD. reticulataD. borneensisD. ingensD. serrataD. caulifloraD. magnoliifoliaD. suffruticosaD. crenatifoliaD. ovataD. sumatranaD. excelsaD. philippinensisD. fischeriD. ptempoda
5 The habitat of SimpurNative to tropical and subtropical regions of southern Asia, Australasia and the islands of the Indian Ocean.Can be found on swampy areas, lowland inland forests, wastelands, eroded soil, white sand areas and in secondary growth.Around 9 species can be found in Brunei.
6 Maps of southern Asia, Australasia and Indian Ocean Islands of Indian Ocean
7 The Species of Simpur in Brunei Common nameD. beccarianaRiver SimpurD. borneensisUbah rusaD. excelsaSimpur Ungu, Simpur LakiD. grandifoliaSimpur Daun MerahD. indica-D. reticulataSimpur GajahD. pulchellaSimpur PayaD. suffruticosaSimpur Air, Simpur BiniD. sumatranaSimpur Laki
8 Distribution of Simpur in Brunei SpeciesLocationD. beccarianaBorneo endemic. Common on clay slopes in lower Temburong and Batu Apoi valleys. In Ulu Tutong and Tasek Merimbun.D. borneensisRare in Brunei. On clay soils in mixed dipterocarp forests at Temburong.D. excelsaThroughout Brunei. In moist valleys and lower slopes.D. grandifoliaUncommon in Brunei. In Ulu Ingei and Andulau Forest Reserve. Belait, Kuala Belalong and Amo.D. indicaNot native to Brunei. Only cultivated.D. reticulataOn sandy soils in floodplains in Andulau Forest Rerserve and Ulu BelaitD. pulchellaMixed peat swamp forests, swampy kerangas, near the coast.D. suffruticosaOn degraded land, river banks, open place, downriver and poor soils.D. sumatranaCommon in Brunei. In lowland mixed dipterocarp forest, on leached sandy, sandy soils in Belait and Tutong.
10 The Flowers of Simpur Solitary, or in terminal racemes. Flowers have five sepals and five petals.Numerous stamens and a cluster of 5-20 carpels.Flowers of different species are not similar.No scent and no nectar.racemes
11 The Flowers of Simpur Blooms from 3-4 years of age. Lifespan of years.Flower buds face down.Bud become swelling and turns yellow.Flowers open one at a time.
12 The Flowers of Simpur Flowers open at 3 am the next day. By 4 pm, the petals start to drop off. The sepals fold back on the young fruit.Flowers stalks rotates from pointing down to pointing up slowly.
13 The Life-cycle of Simpur FlowerFruit budRipe fruitPlantFlower bud
17 The Flowers of SimpurD. philippinesisD. reticulata
18 The Flowers of SimpurD. suffruticosaD. sumatrana
19 The Fruits of Simpur Fruit buds face upwards. Unopened fruits: Surrounded by red sepals which are thick.Fruits: Take five weeks to set.Ripe fruits open at 3 am.Fruit: Star-shaped when splits open, exposing the seeds.Empty husk of the fruits falls off at 8 am the next day.
20 The Fruits of SimpurAlmost all of the dehiscent fruits are covered by the red aril (soft red membrane).D. indica have soft white membrane covering its seeds.D. ovata and D. reticulata has ex-arillate seeds.
25 The Fruits of SimpurD. philippinensisD. serrata
26 The Fruits of Simpur Evergreen shrubs. Can grow up to 10 meters. Leaves: Broad and oval with slight toothed edge.D. suffruticosa
27 The Uses of SimpurLeaves are used to wrap food such as tempeh (fermented soya bean cakes), nasi lemak and tapai (fermented rice).Rolled into shallow cones to contain traditional food rojak.Mature and old leaves contain deposit of silica – used as sandpaper.Tapai
28 The Uses of SimpurAs an indicator of water source (D. suffruticosa) – the tap roots can reach underground water source.As traditional medicine to staunch bleeding wounds (young shoots).Fruit pulp use to wash hair.Leaves are used by birds as nest.D. suffuticosa provides shades for young plants.
29 Additional Information about Simpur National flower of Brunei.Drawn in Brunei art as ‘Ayer Muleh’.Used as the logo of APEC 2000 held in Brunei.Depicted on the front side of Brunei one-dollar note.Brunei one-dollar noteAPEC 2000 logo“Ayer Muleh’ design
30 ReferencesDr. S Idris M. Said. (2000). Bunga Simpor. Available at:(Retrieved on 5th September 2011)Earl of Cranbrook, Edwards, D.S. (1994). Belalong: A Tropical Rainforest. The Royal Geographical Society, United Kingdom and Sun Tree Publishing, Singapore.Tan, R., (2001). Simpoh Air. Available at:The Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Online (2010). Dillenia suffruticosa. Available at:
31 ReferencesWikipedia, (2011). Dillenia. Available at:(Retrieved on 5th September 2011)Wikipedia, (2011). Dilleni suffruticosa. Available at:Wild Singapore, (2008). Simpoh Air. Available at:Yunos, R. (2009). Brunei’s National Flower? Available at:
32 AcknowledgementThis project is done under the guidance of Dr. Leong YP of UBD.Photos are taken at Kampong Rimba in Brunei-Muara, Kampong Danau and Kampong Kiudang in Tutong.Special thanks to Lee KH for some of the photos.And for those who involved directly or indirectly.
33 Prepared by:Amalina Fadilah Hj. Abu Bakar B. Ed. General Science Universiti Brunei Darussalam 2011