Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Xylocarpus granatum J. Koenig, 1784

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Sapindales
Family:Meliaceae
Genus:Xylocarpus
Species:X. granatum
Common Names:Mangrove Cannonball, Nyireh Bunga
Status:Common

Description

This is an evergreen, small to medium-sized mangrove tree that can grow up to 20 m tall. It is monoecious or rarely dioecious. The buttresses are long and snaking laterally. The bark is light brown, yellow or green, smooth and flaking. Leaves are simple pinnate, spirally arranged, with 2-4 pairs of leaflets that are light green when young, dark green when old and withering orange red. Flowers are 8 mm wide, pinkish yellow and grouped in an axillary inflorescence 2.5-7 cm long. Fruits are capsules, 25 cm wide, woody, globose and split open into 4 valves to liberate the 5-20 seeds.

Read more about the Sapindales order.
Read more about the Meliaceae family.

Distribution

East Africa to the Pacific.

Localities

Chek Jawa, Kranji Nature Trail, Lim Chu Kang, Mandai Mangroves, Pasir Ris Park, Pulau Semakau, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, St John's Island, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Locality Map

Human Uses

The wood is used in boat building, furniture and as fuel; bark for tanning; and roots as a treatment for cholera and dysentery. The oil extracted from seeds has been used as an illuminant as well as a hair oil.

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Corner, E. J. H., 1988.  Waysides Trees of Malaya.  Vol. 1-2.  Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 

Ng, P. K. L. & N. Sivasothi (eds.) 1999. A guide to the mangroves of Singapore I. The ecosystem and plant diversity. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

Sosef, M. S. M., L. T. Hong & S. Prawirohatmodjo, 1998. Plant Resources of South-East Asia - No. 5(3): Timber trees: Lesser known timbers. Bogor, Indonesia

Tomlinson, P. B., 1999,The Botany of Mangroves. Cambridge University Press. 419 pp.

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