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Aegiceras corniculatum


Aegiceras corniculatum (L.) Blanco

Family Name: Primulaceae
Synonyms: Aegiceras fragrans König, Aegiceras majus Gaertn., Aegiceras malaspinaea A. DC
Common Name: River Mangrove, Kacang Kacang, Narikandam, Vethilikanna, 蜡烛果, 桐花树


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
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Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m)), Aquatic & Hydrophyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 6 m


Native Distribution India and Sri Lanka, south China, to Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, throughout Indonesia, south Philippines, to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and to northern and western Australia
Native Habitat Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 6 m tall, with multiple stems. The tree has smooth, greyish bark with lenticels and roots that run along the soil surface.  
Foliage Its spirally arranged, short-stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are drop-shaped or oval with smooth margins, green above, brownish-green below, and 3–10 by 1.8–4.5 cm. The leaves often encrusted with salt crystals that are secreted through the glands on the leaf blade.  
Flowers The small, sweetly fragrant flowers are 1–2 cm long, and borne in clusters at the leaf axils. The 5 petals are white and reflexed backwards at maturity.  
Fruits The 1-seeded fruits are cylindrical capsules, curved and pointed at the tip, light green to purple when ripe, and 3.8–8 by 0.4–0.6 cm. The seed germinates within the fruit while attached to the parent tree.  
Habitat It grows in sandy, compact mud at landward sides of mangrove forests. It occurs locally in mangrove forests of the Westerm Catchment Area, Pulau Unum, Pasir Ris, Pulau Ubin, and Sungei Khatib Bongsu.  
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by insects. It is the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the moths, Anarsia species, Archips species, Darna trima, Gonodontis clelia; Phyllocnistis species and Zeuzera conferta.
Cultivation It can be propagated by the propagules. Propagules that are fully developed on the parent tree can be removed and planted directly into potting media.  
Etymology Greek aix, goat; Greek keras, horn, referring to the fruit’s resemblance to a goat’s horn; Latin corniculatus, curved like a horn, referring to the shape of the curved fruits of this species
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The leaves were eaten raw or cooked by the poor in the Moluccas in the past.)
Timber & Products ( The wood is used as firewood.)
[Others]: Women wear the sweetly fragrant flowers as hair ornaments. The bark and seeds contain aegiceras-saponin and is employed as a fish poison.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It may be suitable as a marsh plant for the edges of ponds for its attractive drop-shaped leaves and sweetly fragrant flowers. It is a rather slow-growing tree which needs minimal maintenance.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits, Fragrant
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Waterlogged Soils (Does not Drain Site)
Landscape Uses Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Pond / Lake / River, Marsh / Bog
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden, Water Garden, Marsh Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Moth Food Plant
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


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Obovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Image Repository



Master ID 31049
Species ID 5436
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: 29 November 2021.