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Avicennia rumphiana


Avicennia rumphiana

Family Name: Acanthaceae
Synonyms: Avicennia lanata
Common Name: Api-api Bulu


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Southeast Asia, including Singapore, and Papua New Guinea
Native Habitat Shoreline
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Medium-sized to big tree, reaching up to 30 m tall. 
Trunk Dark grey and smooth bark, not buttressed but cylindrical, straight trunk when growing in a closed stand.
Roots Pencil-like pneumatophores emerge above ground from long shallow underground roots.
Foliage Ovate or elliptic leaves, simple, opposite, measuring up to 10 by 6 cm, thick, margin entire with non-curved edges, dark green above, beneath covered with dense, powdery hairs. Midrib of leaf is prominent beneath, covered with hairs, leaf stalk about 18 - 20 mm long.
Flowers Orange-yellow flowers are fragrant and clustered in three-branched heads, all parts densely covered with very fine hairs. Corolla smooth inside, hairy outside, lobes recurved.
Fruit Fruit is broadly ovoid, compressed, not more than about 18 mm long and covered with dense woolly hairs. All Avicennia spp. exhibits crytovivipary, in which the embryo germinates within the fruit but does not enlarge enough to break through the fruit wall.
Habitat Usually occurring in the downstream estuarine zone in the high intertidal region.
Etymology Avicennia is named in honour of the Persian physician, Avicenna (980 - 1037).
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Timber & Products: Wood used as firewood to smoke fish or rubber.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant
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, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Waterlogged Soils
Potential Problems Sooty mold
Propagation Method Viviparious Propagule


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Non - Foliar and Storage

Mature Bark Texture Smooth

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Orange, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Image Repository



Master ID 29280
Species ID 3589
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: 24 November 2022.