Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Xylocarpus moluccensis (Lam.) M. Roem.

Species:X. moluccensis
Common Names:Mangrove Cannonball, Nyireh Batu


This is an evergreen, small to medium-sized mangrove tree that can grow up to 10-20 m tall. It is monoecious or rarely dioecious. The tree bears small buttresses and short pneumatophores, The bark is dark brown, rough, longitudinally fissured and flaking into oblong pieces. Leaves are simple pinnate, spirally arranged, with 2-4 pairs of leaflets, 10-20 x 3.5-5.5 cm, leathery and withering yellow. Flowers are 8 mm wide, pale cream yellow and grouped in an axillary inflorescence 7-15 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.


From India, Myanmar, Indochina and Thailand to the Malesian region and tropical Australia.


Chek Jawa, Pasir Ris Park, Pulau Semakau, Pulau Ubin, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Locality Map

Human Uses

The wood is used in boat building, furniture and as fuel; bark for tanning as well as a treatment for cholera, dysentery, diarrhoea and other abdominal problems. The oil extracted from seeds is used in the Philippines to treat insect bites.


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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