The Tembusu is one of Singapore’s most distinctive trees. This native of Singapore is a large, evergreen tree that grows up to 40m in height.
This tree can be recognised by its deeply fissured dark brown bark and unique perpendicular branching. It is highly robust and can grow even in poorly drained, clayey soils.
During the flowering season in May – June and October – November, its creamy white flowers open at sunset and give off a strong fragrance in the evening. This gives rise to its scientific name, Fagraea fragrans – ‘fragrans’ means sweet-smelling, or fragrant.
A photograph of the finest Tembusu in the Singapore Botanic Gardens can be found on the back of the ‘Portrait’ series $5 note. This Heritage Tree is reportedly more than 150 years old.