Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Avicennia officinalis Linnaeus, 1753

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Lamiales
Family:Acanthaceae
Genus:Avicennia
Species:A. officinalis
Common Names:Api-api Ludat
Status:Common

Description

Tree of up to 30 m or more tall with aerial stilt roots. Leaves are simple, in opposite decussate arrangement, leathery, midrib prominent but veins inconspicuous, 3-15 x 1-6 cm. Flowers are bisexual, orange-yellow, 6-10 mm wide, with a rancid or foetid smell and in densely grouped heads. Fruits are densely hairy, about 3 cm long, longer than broad and with a short apical beak.

Read more about the Lamiales order.
Read more about the Acanthaceae family.

Distribution

From south India through Indo-Malaya to New Guinea and eastern Australia.

Localities

Chek Jawa, 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 house building, mine props, furniture, boat building, paneling and occasionally for charcoal making. The wood ash can be used to make soap; the bark for tanning leather; and the leaves and seeds are edible, the latter only after roasting.

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.

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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