Pink-necked Green Pigeon eating seeds of yellow simpoh

on 9th October 2008


The above image shows a male Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) eating a seed of the yellow simpoh (Dillenia suffruticosa). Not only does this pigeon eats the seeds, many others birds also seek them out.

The flowers are yellow and large (below left). Once pollinated, the petals are shed and the persistent green sepals fold inwards to enclose the developing fruit. At this stage these fruiting “buds” are often mistaken for flower buds. The image of the fruit (below right) shows two such buds below the ripening fruit.


Once the fruit is fully developed, the persistent green sepals unfold and the fruit splits into many segments to display the many red seeds (above right). This happens during the early morning and attracts the attention of many birds. The birds swallow the seeds whole, to eject the seeds once the red pulp is scraped off in the gizzard. These birds thus help in the dispersal of the plant.

Yellow simpoh is a bushy plant of disturbed areas. The leaves are large and used as wrappers in wet markets before plastic bags became popular. The leaves are still used to wrap tempeh, the popular fermented soy bean cakes that are eaten in many Southeast Asian countries.

The yellow simpoh is an excellent bird plant. The large leaves are popular with nesting tailorbirds.

The young fruiting buds are a popular food with the Long-tailed Parakeets (Psittacula longicauda).

Johnny Wee
October 2008

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

8 responses

  1. Green pigeons have grinding gizzards which destroy at least small seeds, like those of figs, so it is not clear whether they will destroy or disperse the larger, harder seeds of Dillenia.

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