Dillenia suffruticosa, Wormia suffruticosa, Simpoh Air, Shrubby Dillenia, Shrubby Simpoh

Dillenia suffruticosa, Wormia suffruticosa

Simpoh Air, Shrubby Dillenia, Shrubby Simpoh
Family: Dilleniaceae
Origin: West Malesia
Small tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterYellow, orange flowersEdible plantPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsEthnomedical plant.
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Dillenia suffruticosa (Simpoh Air) is a small tree that grows 10-20 ft tall and is native to West Malesia. It contains large, glossy oval-shaped leaves and large, yellow and orange cup-shaped flowers. The flowers are highly fragrant and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. They only last for a day and usually open at 3 am. Following the flowers will be egg-shaped fruits that split open at 3 am to reveal red arils and seeds. The taste of the fruit is sweet and sour and it is edible.

Simpoh Air is useful for many reasons. The leaves can be used to wrap food and tailor birds can use them to make nests. The Simpoh Air sends out very deep tap roots to reach underground water sources. The tree is used to detect water as it always grows near water. The fruit pulp can be used to wash the hair (Brunei). Staunching bleeding wounds is also a use of this plant.

This plant should be grown in full sun to semi-shade areas and requires regular watering. It is suitable for USDA zones 9-11. In cold regions, it can be grown in a pot and kept indoors during the winter months. It tend to require a heavy threshold of initial watering in order for its roots to establish properly. Too much water can lead to root rot.

The plant is able to flower and fruit up to 3-4 years of age, yielding up to 150 fruits per tree. The fruit can now be found commercially and its unique flavor, aroma and nutritional value attract many people to its consumption. Eating the ripe fruit can bring a plethora of health benefits such as decreasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes while providing the body with dietary fiber and minerals. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, phosphorous, calcium and other essential minerals for the body's proper functioning.

Simpoh Air can live up to 50-100 years and can become a beautiful addition to summer days with the right balance of water.

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