Where seen? This is probably the most commonly seen tree
in our mangroves. It is particularly common in the back mangroves.
It has been described as characteristic of newly established substrates
and able to withdstand prolonged submersion. It may form pure stands.
It was formerly called B. caryophylloides.
Features: Tree to about 20m, but
those seen along our nature trails often almost short shrubs about
1m, to short trees to 2-3m. Bark greyish with small corky bumps (lenticels).
Short buttresses and also knee roots.
Leaves eye-shaped (6-17cm long) stiff leathery glossy, arranged opposite
one another. Stipules pale yellow or greenish.
Flowers small (1cm), 2-5 emerging from one short stalk. Calyx cup-shaped
pale greenish or white with 8 stout, long lobes. Petals thin, white
tipped with tassels. The petals turn brown rapidly. According to Tomlinson,
the flowers are pollinated by day flying insects such as butterflies.
The petals of the flower hold loose pollen and are under tension.
When probed at the base, the petal unzips to scatter a cloud of pollen
over the head of the visiting insect.
Propagule develops on the parent plant: thin, cylindrical hypocotyl
(8-15cm long) with the calyx lobes bent up towards the stalk. Light
green ripening to purple, the hypocotyl is often slightly curved.
Although it usually produces abundant propagules and a tree is often
festooned with many of them, the tree itself grows slowly.
According to the NParks Flora and Fauna website, the tree is the preferred
local food plant for caterpillars of the moth Olene mendosa.
uses: According to Burkill, the propagules are occasionally
eaten after boiling, and according to Giersen eaten with sugar and
coconut. Fishermen do not like to use the wood for fish-traps as they
say it has a peculiar smell that frightens fishes away. According
to Giersen, the timber is heavy and reddish.
Pulau Ubin, Dec
Pulau Ubin, Dec
Small flowers, several in a cluster on one stalk.
Calyx usually pale.
Sungei Buloh Besar, Apr 11
Tassels on petal tips.
Sungei Buloh Besar, Jun 11
Sepals on propagules bend towards stalk.
Sungei Buloh, Apr 02
putih on Singapore shores
Sheue, Jean W. H. Yong and Yuen- Po Yang. 2005. The
Bruguiera (Rhizophoraceae) Species in the Mangroves of Singapore,
Especially on the New Record and the Rediscovery. Taiwania,
50(4): 251-260, 2005 (pdf on the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity
- 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.
I. H., 1993. A
Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula.
3rd printing. Publication Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia,
Kuala Lumpur. Volume 1: 1-1240; volume 2: 1241-2444.