Avicennia alba is a common mangrove tree in Singapore with smooth, dark grey bark. Leaves are lanceolated with a pointed tip, dark green above and white underneath. Leaf shapes can be very variable depending on the abiotic conditions in which the plant was grown in. Flowers yellow. Fruits are distinctive - they are pale green, conical with a pronounced beak. Size: Up to 20 m tall.
Api-api putih has an extensive lateral root system which spans many metres just below the soil surface, with the characteristic pencil-like breathing roots or pneumatophores that stick vertically out of the mud at regular intervals. These roots help the tree get enough oxygen as the mud is extremely poor in oxygen.
Avicennia alba is able to excrete salt by means of salt glands in their leaves. A small slit-like opening between the cuticle of the gland and that of the leaf is where the salt secretion takes place.
Found on newly-formed mud on the seaward side of the mangroves.
Cyptovivipary occurs in Avicennia alba where the embryo germinates within the fruit but does not enlarge sufficiently to break through the fruit wall. The seedling bursts through the fruit wall immediately after release and so can grow as soon as it hits the ground.
Pioneers of the mangroves.
Avicennia marina, Avicennia rumphiana and Avicennia officinalis. A. alba differs from other species of Avicennia by having leaves with whitish undersides.
Timber is used to smoke fish or rubber.