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Tropical Seashores  : Mangrove

Lumnitzera racemosa   Api-api jambu Combretaceae

 

 Api-api jambu, Lumnitzera-racemosa

 

Lumnitzera racemosa.

 Api-api jambu, Lumnitzera-racemosa

Shrubs or tree up to 8m tall. Leaves (2-10cm) spatula-shaped with oval ends, scalloped edge and a small notch at the tip, thick and fleshy, arranged in a spiral. Flowers small (1-2cm) in bunches, white with five tiny petals. The flowers are weakly scented and produce lots of nectar. According to Tomlinson, this species appear to be pollinated by day-active wasps, bees, butterflies and months.
The small fruits are ribbed, fibrous and float, and dispersed by water. Each fruit contains one seed. Bark reddish-brown and fissured. Has no pneumatophores.
Sometimes mistaken for Chengam (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea) which has its leaves arranged in a spiral.
Although occurring throughout Malaysia and Indonesia, L. littorea and L. racemosa practically exclude each other in habitat and have never been collected in exactly the same stand. The exact cause of this different ecological behaviour is not yet known.
Human uses: According to Burkill, the timber has similar properties as that of Teruntum merah (Lumnitzera littorea) but because it is a smaller plant it is less useful.

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