Where seen? This endangered tree is rarely seen in our
mangroves. According to Ng, it was only seen at Pasir Ris Park, Pulau
Tekong, Pulau Unum; individuals formerly recorded at Sungei Changi
seem to have died out. According to Davison, it is found on Pulau
Tekong, Sungei Buloh, Pasir Ris Park and the Western Catchment. It
is also found on Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa. According to Hsuan Keng,
it was found in Jurong and Ulu Pandan.
Features: From a slender shrub
to small tree up to 5m, sometimes to 24m, in Singapore to about 15m
tall. Bark grey fissured. Slightly flanged base. Knee roots may
be up to 30cm tall.
Leaves eye-shaped (7-13cm), glossy.
Flowers tiny, in groups of 2-5 on one stalk. Calyx a slender
tube (1cm long) with 8 tiny lobes. Tiny petals yellowish-green
tipped with 3 tassels.
Propagule develops on the parent plant: hypocotyl
8-13cm long, thin, cylindrical, smooth and slightly curved. The calyx tips tiny and clasp the propagule.
According to Tomlinson, it is found in inner mangrove fringes and
river banks and has characteristics of a pioneer species. According
to Giersen, it forms single species stands in areas that are infrequently
inundated, while isolated individuals may occur along tidal waterways
and coastal fish ponds. Often found in solid stands in the interior
of mangroves on firm mud flats. The hypocotyls establish themselves
better in areas with much or moderate sunlight. It can be common in
overlogged areas or where immature mangrove vegetation is exploited.
According to Ng, it is found on the inner side of the mangrove and
noted to be a slow grower and has the shortest lifespan. It does not
appear to grow well in Singapore with only few individuals and less
than the 24 m maximum height found elsewhere.
Human uses: According to Giersen,
the heavy to very heavy timber is hard and strong, and easily worked
and finishes well. But it is perishable when exposed or in contact
with the ground, and often found in small size. It produces good charcoal,
firewood and pulp. The germinating seedling is sometimes eaten as
Status and threats: This plant
is listed as 'Endangered' on the Red List of threatened plants of
Singapore. It is threatened by habitat degradation.
Leaves eye-shaped, glossy.
Pasir Ris, Sep 13
Calyx tips clasp the propagule.
Pasir Ris Park, Sep 13
Flowers tiny, several on one stalk.
Pasir Ris, Apr 10
Tassels on petal tips. Tubular calyx.
Pasir Ris, May 11
Pasir Ris Park, Apr 10
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.
G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore
Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore.
Nature Society (Singapore). 285 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.