Herbs & Plants

Rhizophora apiculata

Botanical Name: Rhizophora apiculata
Family: Rhizophoraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales
Genus: Rhizophora
Species: R. apiculata

Synonyms: Rhizophora candelaria, Rhizophora conjugata, Rhizophora lamarckii

Common Names:Garjan, Bakau Minyak, Bakau tandok, Bakau akik

Currently Rhizophora apiculata is distributed throughout Australia (Queensland and Northern Territory), Guam, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the Maldives, Thailand, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.
It is found within the mangrove ecosystem; a unique and complex location known for its humid climate, saline environment, waterlogged soils and capable of tolerating salinity ranging from 2-90%.

Rhizophora apiculata Tree is 20-30m tall. Bark dark grey and chequered. Conspicuous arching stilt roots that can extend 5m up the stem. Often also with lots of aerial roots emerging from the branches so that the tree appears to have a skirt of roots under the leaves

Leaves eye-shaped (8-15cm long), glossy green and stiff, with tiny evenly distributed black spots on the underside. Stipule is usually (but not always) red.

Flowers (1-2cm) in pairs on very short stalks so they appear to be stuck directly onto the branch. Calyx globular hard thick, brown on the outside yellow inside. Petals yellow to white, flat membranous and hairless, falling off soon after blossoming.

The fruit looks like a brown, upside down pear (about 2cm) and is crowned by short persistent sepals. The cylindrical hypocotyl can be up to 38cm long, somewhat smooth, green ripening purple.


Cultivation & propagation:
The process of roots absorbing both water and nutrients is a fundamental process responsible for growth, however due to the environment in which R. apiculata grows being notably high in salt levels. The roots undergo a process called ultra-filtration to eliminate any salt from entering the plant however any salt taken up will be stored in old leaves that will eventually fall and die eliminating the salt capacity within the plant.

R. apiculata undertakes reproduction through two methods; viviparity and wind dispersal. Viviparity occurs when the embryo grows through the seed coat whilst still attached to the plant prior to dropping into the water. Once dropped into water it will travel and if a suitable site for germination occurs it will establish itself. The other method for reproduction occurs as flowers are self-compatible and usually wind pollinated.

Edible Uses: Not known to us.

Medicinal Uses:
Due to R. apiculata being rich in Tannin the chemical extracts from bark, roots and leaves naturally inhibits a variety of fungal infections; for instance Ethanol extracts from R. apiculata inhibit Candida albicans, a common type of yeast infection. As seen within Baishya et al. (2020) extraction procedures include drying, shortly followed by grinding the bark, leaves and roots, the organic solvents will be used in crude extraction followed by a rotor evaporator.

Other Uses:
It was and still is an integral aspect plant that has been exploited due to its availability and quality of timber. Currently there are plantations preexisting that allow for R. apiculata to be farmed and transformed into charcoal; resulting in renewable energy alongside potential income sources. Amongst the physical uses associated with the wood of R. apiculata the bark itself is also rich in a chemical Tannin commonly used to strengthen fishing lines, ropes and nets. Amongst this the bark also acts as a leather tanning and antidote to dysentery (intestinal inflammation).

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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