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Rhizophora apiculata


Rhizophora apiculata Blume

Family Name: Rhizophoraceae
Synonyms: Rhizophora candelaria, Rhizophora conjugata, Rhizophora lamarckii
Common Name: Bakau Minyak, Bakau tandok, Bakau akik


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m), Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical
Maximum Height 20 m


Native Distribution Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, including Singapore, tropical Australia, Micronesia and the west Pacific Islands
Native Habitat Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Medium to large-sized erect mangrove tree growing up or over 30 m. 
Crown Conical crown
Trunk Can reach up to 50 cm in diameter, bark is dark grey.
Roots Conspicuous, arching stilt roots extending up to 5 m up the stem, and sometimes has aerial roots from the branches.
Foliage Dark green, smooth and leathery leaves are ellipitic with entire leaf margin and reddish leaf stalks, measuring 7 - 19 by 3.5 - 8 cm. Long, red stipules emerge from the leaf bases.
Flowers Flowers are composed of cream-coloured, linear petals arranged in a cross-shaped pattern. Prominent, yellow sepals are fleshy and wider than the petals. They occur in pairs and are held on dark grey stalks. Flower buds are broadly elliptic and finely fissured.
Fruit Brown, pear-shaped fruit hang with the smaller end pointed down. A long, cylindrical seedling emerges from the smaller end, while the fruit is still attached to the parent plant. This condition is known as viviparity.
Habitat Occurs on deep, soft and muddy soils that are flooded by normal high tides, sometimes tidal waterways with strong, permanent freshwater input is preferred.
Cultivation The seedling, known as a propagule, is planted by placing it vertically in soil. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products: Wood used for foundation piles, beams, outriggers of canoes, furniture, firewood and making of charcoal.
Agriculture - Forestry: Sometimes planted along fish ponds to protect dikes and bunds. 
Others: This species' extensive set of prop roots help to disperse the destructive energy carried by strong tidal waves, helping to protect the shoreline and surrounding areas.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Coastal, Riverine
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Water)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Waterlogged Soils
Propagation Method Viviparious Propagule


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Cruciform / Cross-shaped

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown

Image Repository



Master ID 1973
Species ID 3265
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.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.