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Bruguiera sexangula


Bruguiera sexangula (Lour.) Poir.

Family Name: Rhizophoraceae
Synonyms: Bruguiera angulata Griff., Bruguiera australis A. Cunn., Bruguiera eriopetala W. & A. ex Arn., Bruguiera oxyphylla Miq., Bruguiera parietosa Griff., Bruguiera sexangularis Spreng., Bruguiera digitatum Rumph., Rhizophora angula Lour., Rhizophora australis Steud., Rhizophora eriopetala Steud., Rhizophora plicata Blanco, Rhizophora plicata Blanco, Rhizophora polyandra Blanco, Rhizophora sexangula Lour.
Common Name: Black Mangrove, Upriver Orange Mangrove, Busing, Tumu Berau, Tumu Mata Buaya, 海莲


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 (Medium (16m-30m)), Aquatic & Hydrophyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical, Columnar
Maximum Height 30 m


Native Distribution From India and Sri Lanka, to Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, south throughout Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, throughout Indonesia to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and south to northern Australia and New Caledonia
Native Habitat Terrestrial, Shoreline (Mangrove Forest, Backshore, Mudflat)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a medium- to large-sized tree up to 30 m tall. When in flower, small clusters of the reddish calyxes can be seen throughout the tree.
Trunk The trunk has greyish bark with fissures and many lenticils.
Roots It has fin-like buttresses, occasionally with stilt roots, and commonly with kneed roots that rise above the substrate. 
Foliage Its opposite, long-stalked leaves have thinly fleshy, leathery leaf blades that are narrowly oval to oval-oblong, 8–20 by 3–7 cm. They are also smooth-margined, shiny green above, and yellow-green below.
Flowers The pendulous flowers are borne singly on short stalks at axils. The calyx is pale yellowish green to reddish orange, 3–3.5 cm, top-shaped, opening up into 10–14 pointed lobes at the distal end. Petals in 10–11, are 10–15 mm long, creamy orange, hairy, with 1–2 bristles or none at the tip.
Fruits The fruit develops within the calyx, and becomes enlarged when ripened. The single seed germinates within the calyx tube while attached to the parent plant, forming a green hypocotyl tipped by the radicle that emerges from the calyx. This is known as a propagule. The propagule is cigar-shaped, short, stout, ridged, hexagonal in cross-section, 6–12 by 1.5 cm, maturing from green to dark purple.
Habitat It grows in tidal waterways, coastal fish ponds and mangrove forests, on various substrates that are not frequently submerged. It occurs locally in Pulau Tekong and Pulau Pergam.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by sunbirds. It is the preferred local food plant for the caterpillars of the moth, Olene mendosa.
Cultivation It is propagated by the propagules. Washed up propagules may be collected from the shore or mature ones (dark purple) produced on the tree, may be collected and planted straight into the potting medium. It can grow in freshwater conditions.
Etymology Latin Bruguiera, after J. G. Bruguieres (1750–1799), French expolorer; Greek gymnos, naked; Latin sexangula, six-angled, referring to the six-sided hypocotyl and radicle of this species
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The fruit is occasionally used as a betel quid in Malaysia and Indonesia. The fruit is also cooked, soaked overnight and eaten the next day in Sulawesi.)
Medicinal ( The fruit is used to treat shingles, and the roots and leaves to treat burns.)
Timber & Products ( It is used as firewood and charcoal. The timber is moderately durable and is used for fishing stakes, poles and house construction.)
[Others]: Tannin, flavouring, and an adhesive are extracted from the bark.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This tree can be planted half-submerged along the water edges of ponds, reservoirs, and waterways, or in waterlogged soil for its attractive lush foliage and reddish flowers. It is rather slow-growing, hence minimum maintenance is needed.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Does not Drain Site), Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Fertile Loamy Soils, Alkaline high pH Soils
Landscape Uses Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Riverine, Pond / Lake / River, Marsh / Bog
Thematic Landscaping Water Garden, Marsh Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Moth Food Plant (Leaves)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Viviparious Propagule


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval, Lanceolate, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Orange, Red, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Image Repository



Master ID 29332
Species ID 3641
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: 06 February 2023.