Fiddlewood – Mayang Sari

The seller at Floria told me that the Malay name for this plant is mayang sari. Later I found out it is called fiddlewood or also known as Spiny Fiddlewood.

Here are some details taken from


The fiddlewood is a lovely West Indian native tree grown for its attractive foliage and fragrant flowers. Both the genus name citharexylum (from the Greek – kithara, lyre, and xylon, wood) and the common name of fiddlewood refer to the use of the tree’s timber to make sounding boards for musical instruments.

Common name: Fiddlewood

Botanic name: Citharexylum spinosum

Description: Fast growing tree to 10-12m (30-40′). In spring the bright green leaves turn an unusual salmon-orange colour, and in cooler areas about half the foliage falls. In tropical climates fiddlewoods do not lose as many leaves. Creamy white sprays of perfumed flowers appear at the branch tips from about midsummer to early winter.

Best climate: Tropical and subtropical zones, and also warm microclimates in cooler areas with protection from frost when young.

The plant has sweetly perfumed flowers which I love so much. Reading more about fiddlewood, I also found out that all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested.

Upon further reading here – Fiddlewood, it seems that the plant has seeds that are edible. The flowers look the same as what I have in my garden but I am yet to see any of such seeds on mine. Maybe because it is Citharexylum fruticosum while my Fiddlewood species is undetermined. (How to determine whether it’s spinosum or fruticosum?)

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  • james

    Hi I’m James frm KL,
    Stumble on your blog looking for plants.
    Do you get most of ur plants from Floria?
    I’m lookin for kemuning n kenanga , do u think sg buloh has it?

    • Hati

      The scented plants were mostly bought at Floria because a few years back there’s not much demand for such plants in the local nurseries in KL/Selangor. However last year I managed to get a kesidang plant in a nursery in Puchong. I guess you can try and check Sg Buloh.

  • Artemia Starchup

    Hi, to answer your question, the fiddlewood tree is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are borne separately on different trees. Yours is probable a male as it’s probably propagated from stem cuttings just like mine. That’s why they don’t bear fruits.