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Tropical Seashores  : Mangrove

Bruguiera sexangula Upriver Orange Mangrove Bakau tampusing Rhizophoraceae

 

Bruguiera-sexangula, Upriver Orange Mangrove, Bakau tampusing

 

Bruguiera sexangula

Bruguiera-sexangula, Upriver Orange Mangrove, Bakau tampusing

Tree up to 12m, sometimes 30m tall. Bark light brown-grey, smooth with a few large corky bumps (lenticels). The base of the trunk may be flanged and may have well developed aerial roots, sometimes forming stilt roots and knee roots. Leaves leathery (8-16cm), stipule yellowish or pale.
Flowers with calyx that has 10-12 lobes usually yellow, yellowish-brown, never conspicously scarlet although it may be reddish sometimes. Flowers occur singly. Petals have a blunt tip with 1-2 short bristles or hairless, white when fresh rapidly turning brown.
The large flowers are pollinated by birds. The petals of the flower hold loose pollen and are under tension. When probed at the base, the petal unzips to scatter a cloud of pollen over the head of the visiting bird.
Propagule develops on the parent plant: fat and angular, ridged hypocotyl (6-8cm long), narrow at both ends. The calyx lobes are extended away from the hypocotyl.
Sometimes mistaken for Tumu (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza) but differs in smaller, thinner leaves and the flower petal tips are blunt without hairy tassels.
Human uses: The developing embryo is cooked, soaked overnight and then eaten. Juice from the fruits may be used to treat sore eyes, shingles or treat burns. The heavy to very heavy timber is hard and strong. Used for poles as well as firewood and charcoal. In Sulawesi, the fruits are eaten after they are soaked and boiled.

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