Where seen? This tree with pencil roots and glossy spoon-shaped
leaves sometimes seen in our mangroves, but is not as commonly encountered
as Avicennia alba. It is found on soft
recently consolidated mudbanks, banks of river meanders and at river
mouths. Hsuan Keng reported it being found in Changi, River Valley
Road and Pulau Ubin.
Features: Tree to 12m tall, sometimes
22m. Bark is smooth, with lenticels, light coloured and not fissured.
Pencil-like pneumatophores. Often develops aerial stilt roots.
Leaves often spoon-shaped, though sometimes not (8-10cm long). Upperside
glossy green, underside finely hairy, greenish yellow but never white.
The upperside may be encrusted in salt crystals especially in dry
Flowers large orange-yellow (about 1cm) in a tight cluster that is
more or less globular in shape. The flowers are the largest of our
Avicennia. According to Tomlinson, the flowers emit a rancid
or fetid smell. It appears to bloom seasonally, with many A. officinalis
trees blooming at the same time.
Fruit oval slightly beaked (2-3cm long) smooth velvety.
Human uses: According to Giesen,
the fruits are eaten, and timber used as fuel while the bark resin
is used in traditional medicine as a contraceptive.
Leaves glossy and smooth.
Seedling starting to grow.
Berlayar Creek, Apr 09
Large flowers, crowded together.
Pulau Ubin, May 09
Fruits rounded with pointed tip.
on upper surface in hot weather.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Feb 09
Chek Jawa, Aug 03
ludat on Singapore shores
- Hsuan Keng,
S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan. 1990, The
Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons.
Singapore University Press. 222 pp.
P. B., 1986. The
Botany of Mangroves
Cambridge University Press. USA. 419 pp.