Rhizophora apiculata Blume

Last updated: 6 August 2015

Scientific Name

Rhizophora apiculata Blume


Rhizophora candelaria DC. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bakau minyak, bakau tandok, bakau akik [2]
China Hong shu [3]
India Char, cirugandal, daboja, kaaki ponna, kaakiponna, kaandla, kandal, kantal, pee-kandel, ponna, rai, turu, uppu ponna [3]
Indonesia Bakau minyak (General); bako (Javanese); babakoan laut (Sundanese) [2]
Brunei Bakau minyak, bakau [2]
Singapore Bakau minyak, red­tree [2]
Thailand Kongkang-bailek, kongkang [2]
Myanmar Pyoo [2]
Philippines Bakauan (lalaki); uakatan (Tagalog); bakhau (Samar) [2]
Cambodia Kaông ka:ng nhi [2]
Vietnam C[aa]y d[uw][ows]c [2]
Papua New Guinea Bia (Gulf Province); bahkweh (Northern Province); pan a (Central Province) [2].

Geographical Distributions

Rhizophora api­culata is commonly found in most mangrove swamps in tropical Asia, from the delta of the In­dus in Pakistan to Vietnam and Hainan. It occurs throughout the Malesian region and southwards to the Tropic of Capricorn in Queens­land, and eastwards as far as New Caledonia and Ponape (Micronesia). [2]

R. apiculata is the most common man­grove species. It grows gregariously in swamps flooded by normal high tide, on deep soft mud of estuaries, often consolidated and sheltered from surf and currents by pioneer species of Avicennia L. and Sonneratia L.f. R. apiculata avoids hard soils and develops well in perhumid regions where it can form almost pure stands, sometimes in association with Bruguiera spp. or R. mucrona­ta. It does not occur in fresh water swamps. It is killed by frost and by extended periods of near-freezing temperatures. [2]

Botanical Description

R. api­culata is a member of the family Rhizophoraceae. It is an evergreen tree that can grow up to over 30 m tall and with trunk up to 50 cm in diameter. It is gen­erally much smaller in exploited forests. The bole is 10-12 m. The stem is supported by numerous, lateral, much branched stilt roots. [2]

The leaves are arranged decussate and rosette-like at the end of twigs. The stipules are 4-8 cm long, lance-shaped, conspicuous and ca­ducous. The reddish petiole is 1.5-3 cm long. The blade is en­tire, elliptical-oblong to sublanceolate, measuring 7-18 cm x 3-8 cm, leathery, green and shiny. The apex is acute to apiculate, with wedge-shaped base, distinct above veins, ob­scure beneath, hairless with minute and scattered black corky warts on the lower surface. It is visible on the older or dried leaves. [2]

The inflorescence is axillary (leaf scar below the leaf rosette) and 2-flowered. The peduncle is  0.5-1.5 cm long and thick. The bracteoles at the base of flower are cup-shaped. They are fleshy and slightly crenate. The yellow flowers are bi­sexual and sessile. The sepal is deeply 4-lobed, coria­ceous, accrescent and reflexed in fruit. The lobes are ovate, measuring 10-14 mm x 6-8 mm, concave, acute, brown-yel­low to reddish and persistent. The receptacle is with a disk. There are 4 free petals which are lance-shaped, measuring 8-11 mm x 1.5-2 mm, membranous, hairless and early caducous. There are at most 12 stamens which are sessile, with anthers 6-7.5 mm long, acute, multi-loculate and open with a large ventral valve. The ovary is 1.5-3.5 mm long, semi-inferior, and 2-celled where the superior part is en­closed by the disk and bluntly conical. The style is 0.5-1 mm long and 2-lobed. [2]

The brown fruit is an ovoid or inversely pear-shaped berry, measures 2-3.5 cm long and rather rough. The hypocotyl is cylindrical to club-shaped, measures up to 40 cm x 1.2 cm, often slightly curved, more or less blunt, smooth and shining. It is green tinged with red. [2]

The aerial roots sometimes develop from the lower branches. The taproot is usually abortive. Its branching primarily is sympodial. The bark is grey, almost smooth or with vertical fissures. The branchlets are swollen at the nodes. They are solid and pithy. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1 : The line drawing of R. apiculata [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Rhizophora apiculata Blume. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited on 2015 Aug 6]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-27600231
  2. Hou D, Chan HT. Rhizophora apiculata Blume In: Faridah Hanum I, van der Maesen LJG editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 11: Auxiliary plants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1997; p. 220-223.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 32.