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
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
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
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.