Where seen? This tree is not common in Singapore. Initially
considered extinct in Singapore, it was rediscovered in 2005. There
are two on Pulau Tekong, and two at Sungei Buloh and it is being replanted
at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin and at Pasir Ris Park. According to Hsuan
Keng, it was previously found in Kranji, Jurong and Tanjong Pasir
Laba. Elsewhere, it is also considered widespread and uncommon throughout
its range. It is found along tidal waterways, coastal fish
ponds that are infrequently inundated. It was formerly called B.
eriopetala. According to Burkill, 'Berau' in Malay suggests yellowness.
Features: Tree up to 12m, sometimes
30m tall. Bark light brown-grey, smooth with a few large corky bumps
(lenticels). The base of the trunk may be flanged and may have well
developed aerial roots, sometimes forming stilt roots and knee roots.
Leaves eye-shaped (8-16cm) stiff leathery glossy, arranged opposite
one another. Stipules yellowish or pale.
One flower on each pendulous flower stalk, large (2cm). Calyx has
10-12 lobes usually yellow, yellowish-brown, never conspicously scarlet
although it may be reddish. Petals have a blunt tip with 1-2 short
bristles or without tassels at the tips, white when fresh rapidly
turning brown. According to Tomlinson, the large flowers are pollinated
by birds. 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 bird.
Propagule develops on the parent plant: hypocotyl shorter than other
Bruguiera in Singapore (6-8cm long) fat angular ridged, narrow at
both ends. The calyx lobes are extended away from the hypocotyl.
According to the NParks Flora and Fauna website, the tree is the preferred
local food plant for caterpillars of the moth Olene mendosa.
Sometimes mistaken for Tumu
(Bruguiera gymnorrhiza) but differs in smaller, thinner leaves
and the flower petal tips are blunt without hairy tassels.
uses: According to Burkill, the developing embryo is cooked,
soaked overnight and then eaten. Juice from the fruits may be used
to treat sore eyes, shingles or treat burns. According to Giersen,
the heavy to very heavy timber is hard and strong. Used for poles
as well as firewood and charcoal. In Sulawesi, the fruits are eaten
after they are soaked and boiled.
Status and threats: This plant
is listed as 'Critically Endangered' on the Red List of threatened
plants of Singapore
Large flowers, each on one stalk.
Calyx usually yellow.
Pulau Ubin, Dec 09
No tassels on petal tips.
Pasir Ris, Jan 10
Sepals extend away
from the propagule.
Pasir Ris, Jan 10
berau on Singapore shores
sexangula on the NParks Flora and Fauna website: photos
and fact sheet.
- Giesen, Wim
and Stephan Wulffraat, Max Zieren and Liesbeth Scholten. 2006.
Guidebook for Southeast Asia (PDF online downloadable).
RAP publication 2006/07 Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok.
sexangula on the IUCN Red List website: detailed fact
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.