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Tropical Seashores  : Mangrove

Sonneratia ovata

 Mangrove apple Gedabu Sonneratiaceae


 Mangrove apple, gedabu, Sonneratia ovata


 Mangrove apple, gedabu, Sonneratia ovata

This rare mangrove tree can be seen in a few of our accessible mangroves. It can be seen on Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa, as well as at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Nature Trail and is also planted at Pasir Ris Park. According to Ng, in Singapore only a few trees at the hot springs (Kampong Unum) of Pulau Tekong. Trees at Kampong Melayu (Pulau Ubin) and Kampong Mandai Kechil have died or been destroyed with development. It is found on the landward-side of mangroves. But in the past, it was considered widespread in our back mangroves and tidal creeks in Singapore.

Features: Small tree up to 5m, occasionally to 20m tall. Leaves fat ovals (5-7cm) usually not narrow at the base. Flowers without petals, sepals are reddish on the inside. Calyx lobes clasp the 'fruit' and do not bend away as in other Sonneratia species.

Similar to Perepat (S. alba) except that it tends to be a shorter tree with shiny, dark green leaves and the flowers have no petals.

Human uses: According to Ng, the fruit is eaten. As a result, the tree is often cultivated in Malay villages.

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