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Tropical Seashores  : Mangrove

Rhizophora mucronata Asiatic mangrove Bakau hitam Rhizophoraceae

 

Asiatic mangrove, Rhizophora-mucronata, bakau hitam

 

Rhizophora mucronata

Asiatic mangrove, Rhizophora-mucronata, bakau hitam

More tolerant of sandy and firmer ground than other Rhizophoras, R. mucronata grows well in soft mud too and is believed to be among the few that can survive complete daily inundation.

This species of Rhizophora is the most widespread. Their Malay name refers to their fruit, kurap means "warty".
Main features: Grows 15-25m tall.
Roots: Stilt roots emerging in arches from the lower trunk, and prop roots may grow downwards from branches.

Leaves: Leaf stipule yellowish. Tiny black spots on the underside of the leaf.
Flowers: Flower inflorescence long, slender and yellow. Short style (0.5-1.5mm).
Fruits: Brown, leathery, oval/conical fruit. The seed germinates in the fruit forming a seedling up to 60cm long. The seedling grows straight, has a warty bumpy surface and a pointed tip.
Similar trees: R. apiculata: flower inflorescence short, stout, dark grey. Seedling is shorter (30cm), smooth skin.
Traditional medicinal uses: It is used as an astringent and to treat angina, haemorrhaging (extracts from the seedlings in Indochina); diarrhoea (China, Japan): diabetes, dysentery, hematuria. A poultice of the leaves are used to relief armoured fish stings. Old leaves and roots are used during childbirth (Malay). Bark is used to treat blood in the urine (Burma).

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