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Rhizophora mucronata


Rhizophora mucronata Lamk.

Family Name: Rhizophoraceae
Synonyms: Rhizophora canderlaria, Rhizophora longissima, Rhizophora macrorrhiza, Rhizophora latifolia
Common Name: Bakau kurap, Bakau belukap, Bakau gelukap, Bakau jankar


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))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution East Africa, Madagascar, India, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Australia, the Solomon Islands, Melanesia and Micronesia
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 Erect, evergreen tree, reaching 20 - 25 m tall.
Trunk Dark black bark, horizontally fissured.
Roots Has both aerial and stilt roots growing from lower branches. 
Foliage Broadly elliptic to slightly oblong leathery leaves, measuring 11 - 23 by 5 - 23 cm, opposite arrangement. Leaf stalk is about 2.5 - 5.5 cm long, leaflets at base of leaf stalk about 5.5 - 8.5 cm.
Flowers Flower stalks usually have 2 - 5 flowers, each on a 2.5 - 5 cm long individual stalk. Buds are widest near the base and have two 2-lobed leaflets near the base. 4 white petals having densely hairy margins and about 9 mm long. Calyx is deeply lobed and pale yellow, about 13 - 19 mm long. Flower has 8 stamens and style is about 0.5 - 1.5 mm long.
Fruit Dull, brownish-green fruit is elongated to egg-shaped, often rough at the base, single seeded and 5 - 7 cm long. Hypocotyl is cylindrical, rough and warty, about 36 - 64 cm long and up to 2 cm wide.
Habitat Found in intermediate to upstream estuarine zone in the lower to mid-intertidal region, and more to the seaward side. Usually found growing in groups near or on the banks of tidal creeks.
Associated Flora Generally found growing with Rhizophora apiculata.
Associated Fauna Propagules are usually eaten by crabs.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products: Wood is used for charcoal and firewood. Tannin in bark is used for tanning and dyeing.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Coastal, Riverine

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Viviparious Propagule


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Non - Foliar and Storage

Mature Bark Texture Fissured

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Image Repository



Master ID 30330
Species ID 4639
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.