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Sonneratia alba


Sonneratia alba J. Smith

Family Name: Lythraceae
Synonyms: Sonneratia acida Benth., Sonneratia griffithii
Common Name: Perepat, Mangrove Apple, Pedada, Pidada, 杯萼海桑


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
Plant Shape Broad / Mushroom / Hemispherical, Shrubby
Maximum Height 30 m


Native Distribution From East Africa to India, Bangladesh, throughout Southeast Asia (including Singapore), south China, to New Guinea, Australia and West Pacific.
Native Habitat Shoreline (Mangrove Forest, Sandy Beach, Rocky Beach, Mudflat)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, with a broad, spreading canopy, usually 15 - 20 m tall, and sometimes up to 30 m tall.
Trunk Cream-coloured to brown bark, with smooth, fine, longitudinal fissures.
Roots It bears thick and blunt pneumatophores (conical roots that emerge vertically from the ground) that are up to 1 m tall.
Foliage Its stalked, opposite leaves are elliptic to ovate or obovate in shape, with a rounded or broad leaf tip, 5-11 cm long and 4-8 cm wide. Leaf stalks are 6 - 15 mm long and has vestigial glands at the base.
Flowers Its white petaled flowers bear numerous white stamens which give it a powder-puff like appearance. The white stamens are soon shed after blooming. Petals measure about 13 - 20 by 0.5 - 1.5 mm. The flowers are borne in clusters of 5-8, and only bloom at night.
Fruit Its fruits are hard, fleshy berries that are round and flattened, with a persistent calyx at the base, 2-4.5 cm across, ripening green.
Habitat It grows in tropical coasts, in mangrove forests, sandy beaches and mudflats. It occurs locally in all mangrove forests in Singapore. Pioneering species in the mangrove habitat, intolerant of long periods of exposure to fresh water. 
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by bats at night.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin, Sonneratia, after Pierre Sonnerat (1749–1841), French botanist and explorer; Latin; alba, white, referring to the white petals and stamens of the flowers.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Timber & Products: Wood is used for constructing houses, boats, flooring, bridges, wharves, furnitures and musical instruments.
Cultural / Religious: Heritage Tree : There are currently two individuals of Sonneratia alba listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. Both can be found on Pulau Ubin. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate

Image Repository



Master ID 30430
Species ID 4739
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: 17 August 2022.