The 5 Dollar Tembusu Tree

tembusu tree

The 5 Dollar Tembusu Tree

Tembusu Tree, 5 Dollar Note

We’ve gotten so used to cash transactions in our routine that we no longer give dollar bills a second look. Take a peek at the next time you dig out your five-dollar green bill from your wallet. Encik Yusof bin Ishak as the front design, while the back design theme is Garden City, with a Tembusu tree of a long outstretched low-lying branch.

Picture of the Tembusu tree on the Singapore $5 dollar note. Image Source (ReTRIeVIA –
Plaque of Tembusu Tree. Image Source(Blog To Express – Blogger)

Tembusu Tree Singapore, is a tropical fruit tree

This is our 5-Dollar Tembusu tree. It’s not your typical artist’s illustration. The golden plumes of the Tembusu tree are actually a feature of Singapore’s most famous Tembusu tree. It is thought to have been in existence long before the gardens were formally laid out in 1859, and was established near the Tanglin entrance of the Gardens. At approximately two centuries old, this tree is amazing.

This ancient Tembusu has been a popular spot for family photographs and outdoor wedding photoshoots since it features a low-lying branch to sit on and a lush, verdant backdrop. The tree has been included in Singapore’s Heritage Trees, which was established in 2001 to recognize and protect mature trees that contribute to our natural heritage as significant green landmarks.

The Tembusu is a tropical fruit tree native to Southeast Asia that has numerous names, including Urung in the Philippines, Trai in Cambodia, and Tam Sao in Thailand. It may grow up to 30-40 m tall. It is good to know that this is one tough tree, since some may be concerned about the old Tembusu’s capacity to serve park visitors. Tembusu is an extremely dense hardwood with a thick shell that is often utilized in large buildings, bridges, and ships.

Botanic Gardens’ iconic Tembusu tree gets better support. Image Source (The Straits Times)
Fragrant tembusu tree planted in memory of LKY at Duxton Plain Park. Image Source (Coconuts)

5-Dollar Bill (Portrait Series)

The Portrait series was the fourth set of notes to be released in Singapore. The original version was launched in 1999, followed by the polymer version in 2007. The Garden City theme is used on the back of the 5-Dollar bill, which includes the huge Tembusu of Botanic Gardens and Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore’s national flower. Orchids have been popular in Brunei since the late Encik Yusof bin Ishak, who was reputed to be a great lover of them.

Mr Eng Siak Loy created the Portrait series. He also created the HSBC Care-for-Nature Heritage Trees stamp series (which includes the Tembusu) in 2002, which was named ‘Asia’s Most Beautiful Stamps’ and ‘2nd Most Beautiful Stamp in the World’ by Paris-based Timbropresse Group, a leader of French-speaking philatelic press with Timbress Magazines.

botanic-gardens-tembusu-tree-singapore-five-dollar-note. Image Source (

Singapore 5 Dollar Note

During May and October, the Tembusu tree blossoms twice each year. There’s talk that a Tembusu in full bloom is breathtaking. If you missed seeing cherry blossoms in Japan, why not visit the Botanic Gardens and picnic with friends while our magnificent Tembusu is in full bloom?