Barringtonia calyptrata (Miers) R. Br. ex Bailey
|Common Name:||Corned Beef Wood, Mango Pine, Cassowary Pine, Tufan|
Barringtonia calyptrata produces wood that smell like corned-beef, giving it the common name Corned Beef Wood. Flower stalks hang pendulously on the tree branches and are densely covered with up to 60 white flowers each.
|Name Status (botanical)|
Classifications and Characteristics
|Plant Division||Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)|
|Plant Growth Form||Tree|
|Mode of Nutrition||Autotrophic|
|Maximum Height||20 m|
|Native Distribution||From Indonesia, New Guinea to Northern Australia|
|Preferred Climate Zone||Tropical|
|Local Conservation Status||Exotic|
Description and Ethnobotany
|Growth Form||It is a tree, up to 20 m tall. Growth is episodic and characterised by a series of scale-like leaves (cataphylls), which is triangular, 2 – 5 mm long and 2 mm wide.|
|Foliage||Leaves are leathery, obovate to oblong (10 – 29 cm long and 4 – 13 cm wide) and tend to cluster at the tip of the branches. The leaf tip is obtuse or rarely has a long tip, while the leaf base is cuneate and decurrent almost to the petiole base. The leaf margin is entire. 8 – 20 pairs of lateral veins are present and intercostal veins are slightly raised on both surfaces. The petiole is 0.5 – 3 cm long and slightly swollen at the base.|
|Flowers||Inflorescence hangs pendulously on the branches (ramiflorous), about 30 – 40 cm long. Each flowering stalk is densely covered with up to 60 flowers. The flower is sessile with grooved grey-green hypanthium (3 – 4 mm long and 3 – 4 mm wide). Flower comprises of 4 – 5 small red or white petals (1.25 – 2.5 cm long and 0.5 – 1.75 cm wide), and numerous white stamens arranged in whorls of 4 – 5 (-7). Style is 3 – 4.5 cm long, white, and persists in fruit.|
|Fruits||Fruit is ovoid or spindle-shaped (5 – 9.5 cm long, 1.75 – 2.5 cm wide) that tapers at both ends. Each fruit contains one subglobular seed within, that is about 2 cm long and 1.5 cm wide.|
|Habitat||It is found in open savannah, along streams and rivers, and rarely in mangrove forest.|
|Associated Fauna||In Northern Australia, Cassowaries are observed to disperse the seeds.|
|Etymology||The genus Barringtonia commemorates Daines Barrington (1727 – 1800), a British naturalist. Specific epithet calyptrate means hooded or covered, referring to the flower buds.|
|Ethnobotanical Uses||Timber & Products ( The wood is soft and said to smell like corned-beef. The wood has an even grain pattern and is used for general purpose such as flooring. )
[Others]: In New Guinea, boiled leaves are used by indigenous people to treat chest pain.
|Desirable Plant Features||Ornamental Flowers|
Plant Care and Propagation
|Light Preference||Full Sun|
|Water Preference||Moderate Water|
|Mature Foliage Colour(s)||Green|
|Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio||3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)|
|References||Prance, G.T. (2012). A Revision of Barringtonia (Lecythidaceae). Allertonia 12: 1–161.
Prance, G.T. & Kartawinata, E.K. (2013). Lecythidaceae. In: Nooteboom, H.P. & van Welzen, P.C. (ed.) Flora Malesiana, ser. 1, vol. 21, pp. 1–118. Leiden: Naturalis Biodiversity Center.
|Flora Disclaimer||The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.|