Xylocarpus granatum J.Koenig

Last updated: 1 September 2015

Scientific Name

Xylocarpus granatum J.Koenig 


Amoora salomoniensis C.DC., Carapa granatum (J.Koenig) Alston, Carapa obovata Blume, Granatum obovatum (Blume) Kuntze, Xylocarpus obovatus (Blume) A.Juss. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Nyireh ayer (Sarawak); nyireh hudang (Peninsular); nyireh bunga [2], nyireh bati, nyireh, delima wanta, nireh [3], nireh, niri, nyireh udang [4]
English Cannonball mangrove [2]
China Mu go lian [4]
India Adauipucha, adivipucca, comuntiri, conmuntiri, dhundol, dundul, eel, kalikantai, kandalangay, karambola, parusha, pussur, shisumara, sisumbar [4]
Indonesia Nyireh bunga (General); giliki gota (Moluccas); niri (Sundanese) [2]
Thailand Kra buun khao, ta buun, ta buun khao (Central, Peninsular) [2]; Taban [3]
Myanmar Pinle-on [2]
Philippines Tabigi (General); kalumbabau (Zambales); kolimbauing (Iloko) [2]; nigi, nigue [4]
Cambodia Châm'-puu praèk, t'bôôn [2]
Vietnam Xu'o'ng cá, dang dinh [2]
Singapore Nyireh bunga [2]
Tonga Lekileki [4]
Africa Fobo, foby, mkomafi, mtifi, mtonga, tavelo [4]
Tanzania Mkomabi [4].

Geographical Distributions

Xylocarpus granatum is distributed from East Africa and Madagascar towards India, Indochina, the Ryukyu Islands, the Malesian area, Northern Australia and the Pacific, east to Fiji and Tonga. [2]

Botanical Description

X. granatum is a member of the family Meliaceae. It is an evergreen or sometimes deciduous, monoecious or rarely dioecious, small to medium-sized tree that can reach up to 20(-30) m tall. [2]

The bole is crooked to straight, branchless for up to 10 m, measuring up to 90(-100) cm in diametre and is usually with small buttresses and snail roots. The surface of the bark is smooth, irregularly flaking, whitish to yellow-brown or rough and longitudinally fissured. The inner bark is green, red or pink. The crown is narrow and compact to bushy. [2]

The leaves are arranged spirally, paripinnate with (1-)2-4(-5) pairs of entire leaflets and without stipules. The 4-merous flowers are axillary. The sepal is lobed while the petals are free and pinkish-yellow. The staminal tube is urn-shaped to cupular and bears 8 anthers. The red disk is cushion-shaped. The ovary is 4(-5)-locular with 3-4(-6) ovules in each cell, superior, with short style and a discoid stigma. [2]

The fruit is a large, tardily dehiscing and nearly spherical capsule. There are 5-20 seeds which are irregularly tetrahedral or pyramidal and attached to a central columella, and with a corky testa. [2]

The seedling is with hypogeal germination. The cotyledons are not emergent. The hypocotyl is not elongated while the epicotyl bears scales followed by simple leaves. [2]


Xylocarpus species are locally common in mangrove swamps, beaches and coastal woodlands on rock, sand and other substrates, generally on locations only flooded at exceptionally high tides. They occur in areas with seasonal climates as well as those with non-seasonal climates. X. granatum is often associated with Nypa and Sonneratia species and may be locally gregarious. X. granatum tolerates a salinity of 0.1-3%. Xylocarpus is a moderate light demander, enduring more shade when young than it does later on. A decrease in freshwater supply during dry season can result in high mortality. [2]

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 X. granatum [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Hylocarpus granatum J. Koenig. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated on 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Sept 10]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2467231
  2. Rudjiman. Xylocarpus Koenig In: Lemmens RHMJ and Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc, 1991; p. 128-130.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research.Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia, Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 430.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology; Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 801.