Where seen? This mangrove tree is among the most commonly
seen Rhizophora in our mangroves. According to Ng, it is gregarious
on deep soft mud of estuaries flooded by high tides. According to
Geisen it 'avoids' firmer substrates mixed with sand, and prefers
tidal waterways with strong freshwater input. It can be dominant,
forming 90% of the vegetation at a site. According to Hsuan Keng,
they are common in mangroves and recorded for Changi, Jurong, Seletar
and Bajau. It was formerly known as R. conjugata. It is also
known as 'Bakau putih' (white Bakau) and 'Bakau tandok' (horned Bakau).
Features: Tree 20-30m tall. Bark
dark grey and chequered. Conspicuous arching stilt roots that can
extend 5m up the stem. Often also with lots of aerial roots emerging
from the branches so that the tree appears to have a skirt of roots
under the leaves
Leaves eye-shaped (8-15cm long), glossy green and stiff, with tiny
evenly distributed black spots on the underside. Stipule is usually
(but not always) red.
Flowers (1-2cm) in pairs on very short stalks so they appear to be
stuck directly onto the branch. Calyx globular hard thick, brown on
the outside yellow inside. Petals yellow to white, flat membranous
and hairless, falling off soon after blossoming.
The fruit looks like a brown, upside down pear (about 2cm) and is
crowned by short persistent sepals. The cylindrical hypocotyl can
be up to 38cm long, somewhat smooth, green ripening purple.
Human uses: According to Giesen,
the wood is heavy and hard and requires careful seasoning to prevent
splitting but thereafter works and finishes well. It is used for foundations
in piling, beams and the outriggers of dugout canoes, as well as furniture
and interiors of houses. Branched stilt roots as used for making anchors.
It is also used for firewood and it is the preferred mangrove tree
charcoal. It is sometimes planted to protect bunds and dykes.
It is also used in mangrove rehabilitation and plantation forestry.
Pulau Semakau, May 07
Wetland Reserve, Aug 09
Flower on very short stalks.
Pulau Semakau, May 07
Usually a bent hypocotyl.
Pulau Semakau, Mar 09
Chek Jawa, Jun 03
Fruit on very short stalk,
almost stuck to the branch.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Mar 04
minyak on Singapore shores
P. B., 1986. The
Botany of Mangroves
Cambridge University Press. USA. 419 pp.
- Hsuan Keng,
S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan. 1990, The
Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons.
Singapore University Press. 222 pp..