A shrub up to 3m. Leaves spoon shaped
with smooth, oval-shaped tips, leathery (3-5cm long), shiny green
and held upright, arranged opposite one another. Old leaves are
yellow then turn shiny pink. Terminal bud and young leaves coated in
a varnish-like substance. Flowers in dense clusters about 3-4cm
across. Corolla with four white curving lobes and a short pink tube.
Nectar is secreted at the base of the tube which is accessible to
short-tongued insects. Fruit oblong with 6-8 ridges, first green
then white. The outer layer of the fruit is fleshy with a corky
inner layer. The fruit separates into two halves when ripe. Each
fruit contains 4 or fewer seeds. The fruits float because of the
spongy inner layer. Twigs reddish when young. Bark greyish black,
ridged and fissured.
Sometimes mistaken for Teruntum (Lumnitzera sp.), which has its
leaves arranged in a spiral.
Human uses: According to Giesen, the wood may be used to make
household objects such as spoons, while larger pieces are used for
fence posts and firewood. The leaves are used to treat stomach