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Lumnitzera sp.

Family Combretaceae

updated Jan 2013
Where seen? This pretty plant with plasticky leaves and tiny flowers is sometimes seen in back mangroves.

Features: Short shrub to tall tree. Leaves spatula shaped with oval ends thick and fleshy, arranged in a spiral. Flowers small. The small fruits are ribbed, corky and float, and dispersed by water.

Sometimes mistaken for Chengam (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea) which has its leaves arranged in a spiral.

According to Giesen, although occurring throughout Malaysia and Indonesia, L. littorea and L. racemosa practically exclude each other in habitat and have never been collected in exactly the same stand. The exact cause of this different ecological behaviour is not yet known.

Pulau Ubin, Jan 09

Pulau Ubin,Nov 09

Teruntum on Singapore shores

Teruntum merah
Lumnitzera littorea

Red flowers,
stamens much longer than petals.

Developing fruits.

Teruntum putih
Lumnitzera racemosa

White flowers,
stamens same length as petals.

Developing fruits.



  • Hsuan Keng, S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan. 1990, The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore University Press. 222 pp.
  • Corners, E. J. H., 1997. Wayside Trees of Malaya: in two volumes. Fourth edition, Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. Volume 1: 1-476 pp, plates 1-38; volume 2: 477-861 pp., plates 139-236.
  • 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.
  • Ng, Peter K. L. and Wang Luan Keng and Kelvin K. P. Lim, 2008. Private Lives: An Expose of Singapore's Mangroves. The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research . 249 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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