Herbs & Plants

Bruguiera cylindrica

Botanical Name: Bruguiera cylindrica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Rhizophoraceae
Genus: Bruguiera
Species: B. cylindrica

*Bruguiera malabarica Arnold
*Rhizophora caryophylloidesBurm. f.

Common Names: Son Champa,Pakau Putih, Berus, Bakau Putih, Black Mangrove, Reflexed Orange Mangrove, Bakau Belukap, Bakau Berus, Bakau Kecil, Berus Ngayong, Bosang, Kaakkandal, Kakandan, Pannukkucci

Bruguiera cylindrica is found in tropical Asia, from India and Sri Lanka through Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and New Guinea to Queensland, Australia. It is one of the commonest mangroves in Singapore. Bruguiera cylindrica is found on new deposits of silt, often behind other mangroves such as Avicennia which are more salt tolerant. Unlike some other mangroves, it does not regenerate easily from broken off branches.

Bruguiera cylindrica is a small tree growing up to 20 metres (66 ft) tall but often grows as a bush. The bark is smooth and grey, with corky raised patches containing lenticels which are used in gas exchange and the trunk is buttressed by roots. The aerial roots or pneumatophores project from the soil in knee-shaped loops and have many lenticels which allow air into the interconnecting roots while excluding water. The roots spread out widely to provide stability in the waterlogged soil. The glossy green leaves are opposite, simple and elliptical with pointed ends. The flowers are in small bunches of 2–5 in the axils of the leaves. They have 8 long green sepals and 8 smaller, greenish-white petals with several little bristles on the tip. The flowers are pollinated by insects and release a cloud of pollen when probed at the base by the insect’s mouthparts. The seed does not detach itself from the flower stalk but germinates where it is and is known as a propagule. It grows into a slightly curved cylinder up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long, with the upturned calyx still attached, and looks rather like a slender, dangling cucumber. The propagules later drop off and float horizontally at first. The roots (lower part) absorb water and become heavier and after a few weeks the propagules float vertically and are ready to root into the substrate.


Bruguiera cylindrica can be confused with Bruguiera gymnorhiza, but that has larger, red flowers and red sepals which remain attached to the propagule, which is a straight cylinder in shape rather than being slightly curved.

Tolerant of some shade. Succeeds on sandy and on clay soils. One of the most tolerant species of anaerobic soil conditions, it grows gregariously on stiff clay soils in the mangrove swamp. However, the very poorly aerated soil habitually occupied by this species makes it highly dependent upon its pneumatophores for an adequate supply of oxygen, and also particularly susceptible to prolonged submersion.
Since the tree is such a prolific seed-bearer, a healthy forest normally regenerates, even after clear-felling. Wildlings may be collected and used for planting, but regeneration has, so far, been left to nature in most cases.
The plant is viviparous – the seeds germinate and develop their root while still attached to the tree. After the seedlings are released they fall vertically into the mud and immediately become established.

The tree is able to establish itself in newly formed soils along the coast that are unsuitable for other mangroves. It can form pure stands above high tide level that can be extremely dense and may contain 55,000 – 70,000 stems per hectare. Heavy early thinnings are necessary to increase the rate of growth.

This species has the dubious honour of being the slowest growing of any commercial tree species in Malaya. From
seed it takes around 11 – 12 years to attain a height of 6 metres; around 16 – 17 years to attain 9 metres with a bole 5cm in diameter; and around 60 years to attain a diameter of 30cm. Its rotation should be longer than the 30 years now accepted as an average for mangrove forest in Malays.
Harvesting is done manually with an axe or matchet. This minimizes disturbance to the mangrove. Young trees from short-term rotations are preferred.
Average annual wood production ranges from 2- 16 cubic metres per hectare.

Propagation: Through seeds.

Edible Uses: Young hypocotyls are occasionally boiled and eaten as a vegetable or preserve, though mainly in times of famine.
The young radicles are occasionally eaten with sugar and coconut.

Mediicinal Uses:Bruguiera cylindrica has various medicinal uses including usage for, lower blood pressure, bleeding, hemorrhage and ulcers. Studies are carried out to investigate the anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatoid arthritis effects of the plant.

Other Uses:
Agroforestry Uses:
This species is able to establish itself in newly formed soils along the coast that are unsuitable for other mangroves – it can thus stabilize the soils and bring about conditions to allow other trees to become established.

General Uses:
The bark is said to be of some value as a local source of tannins. However, it is thin and of too low a yield for commercial use.

The heartwood is reddish to reddish-brown upon exposure. The wood is hard, very heavy and strong. It is straight grained and fine textured. The logs shrink and check excessively in seasoning, while the wood is easy to work and finishes well. It is non-durable when exposed to weather or in contact with the ground. Valued more as a fuel, though it is also used for purposes such as temporary constructions. Fisherman say that the wood has a peculiar odour which frightens away fish; and many do not like to use it for making fishtraps.
The wood is commonly used for fuel and for making charcoal

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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