seagrasses text index | photo index
Seagrasses > Family Hydrocharitaceae
Beccari's seagrass
Halophila beccarii

Family Hydrocharitaceae
updated Mar 14
if you learn only 3 things about them ...
Tiny narrow leaves emerge in a rosette.
It is considered globally rare with a limited global distribution.
It's found at Chek Jawa, Sungei Buloh, Kranji and Mandai mangroves.

Where seen? This small seagrass is quite commonly encountered on Chek Jawa, usually in small patches on bare sand that are exposed at low tide near the boardwalk, with larger meadows on the shore west of House No. 1. The preliminary results of a transact survey of Chek Jawa suggest it is probably sparsely distributed in the Chek Jawa seagrass lagoon. It is also found at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, with wide swathes along Kranji Nature Trail and Mandai mangroves.

Globally, it is considered a rare and uncommon seagrass with a distribution restricted to the Bay of Bengal and South China Sea. Singapore lies near the southern most point of the global distribution (see global range on the IUCN Red List). The first specimen of this seagrass was discovered in Sarawak by the intrepid Italian botanist-explorer, Odoardo Beccari and named after him.

Features: Beccari's seagrass is the smallest seagrass found on our shores (0.5cm long). The long oval-shaped leaves emerge in a rosette of 5-10 tiny leaves on long thin stems. Each plant may bear both male and female flowers, but usually, only male or female flowers are visible on a plant. The flowers and fruits are tiny. Each fruit contains up to 6 seeds.

On Chek Jawa, patches were seen among the byssus nests created by Nest mussels (Musculita senhausia). In Singapore's northern mangroves, mangrove seedlings are often seen in patches of this seagrass.

Role in the habitat: Studies suggest that beds of Beccari's seagrass are an important nursery for horseshoe crabs in many regions.

Status and threats: It is listed as 'Critically Endangered' on the Red List of threatened plants of Singapore.

Mandai mangroves, Jul 2013

Emerges in a rosette of 5-10 leaves.
Chek Jawa, Sep 11

Seen growing next to byssus nests
created by Nest mussels.

Chek Jawa, May 09

Chek Jawa, Sep 11

Chek Jawa, Sep 11

Lush carpets of this tiny seagrass grow
under the Sungei Buloh mangrove boardwalk.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Aug 09

Patches of this tiny seagrass sometimes
grow near the Chek Jawa boardwalk.

Chek Jawa, Aug 07
Mandai, Mar 11

Beccari's seagrass on Singapore shores

Photos of Beccari's seagrass for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

  • 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.
  • Waycott, Michelle (et. al). 2004. A Guide to Tropical Seagrasses of the Indo-West Pacific. 2004. James Cook University. 72 pp.
  • Calumpong, H. P. & Menez, E. G., 1997.Field Guide to the Common Mangroves, Seagrasses and Algae of the Philippines. Bookmark, Inc., the Philippines. 197 pp.
  • Hsuan Keng, S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan.1998, The Concise Flora of Singapore II: Monoctyledons Singapore University Press. 215 pp.
FREE photos of
Make your own badge here.

You CAN make a difference for Singapore's seagrasses!
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008