mangroves > Bruguiera in general
Bruguiera parviflora

Family Rhizophoraceae

updated Jan 13
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 a vegetable.

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.
Propagule thin.
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

Flowers tiny.
Pasir Ris Park, Apr 10

Lenggadai on Singapore shores

Photos of Lenggadai for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map



  • Chiou-Rong 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 Research website).
  • Hsuan Keng, S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan. 1990, The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore University Press. 222 pp.
  • Tomlinson, P. B., 1986. The Botany of Mangroves Cambridge University Press. USA. 419 pp.
  • Davison, 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.
  • Burkill, 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.
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