Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (L.) Savigny
Syn.: Bruguiera conjugata Auct.
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
The heavy wood (sp. grav. 0.871.08) is durable but hard to saw and work. It
is used for construction, furniture, houseposts, and pilings (Little, 1983).
Thousands of tons of Bruguiera wood chips are exported annually from Indonesia,
Sabah, and Sarawak for pulp and for rayon manufacture (NAS, 1980a). Fruits are
eaten, but not when anything better is available. More often, they are chewed
as astringent with the betel quid. Chinese in Java make a sweetmeat therefrom.
Dutch Indians use the bark to flavor raw fish. The leaves and peeled
hypocotyls are eaten in the Moluccas after soaking and boiling (Hou, 1958).
The phlobaphene coloring matter is used in China and Malaya for black dye
(Burkill, 1966). In South Africa, the tree has been planted to stabilize dunes
and in freshwater swamps.
Reported to be astringent (Duke and Wain, 1981), the bark is used for diarrhea
and fever in Indonesia (Perry, 1980). Cambodians use the astringent bark for
malaria (Burkill, 1966).
In Burma, leaves may contain 18.3% H2O, 13.5% tannin; outer cortex (small
trees) 14.6 and 7.9, outer cortex (large trees) 14.2 and 10.8; twig bark 13.1
and 14.8, bole bark (small trees) 16.3 and 31.7, while the bole bark of large
trees contains 12.5% H2O, 42.3% tannin. Bark contains from ca 432% tannin,
12.7753.12% according to Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk (1962) and the Wealth of
India (C.S.I.R., 19481976).
Eating too much (bark) is dangerous (Burkill, 1966).
Evergreen tree 825(-35) m high, with straight trunk 4090 cm in diameter,
buttressed at base, and with many upright pneumatophores rising to 45 cm from
long horizontal roots. Bark gray to blackish, smooth to roughly fissured,
thick; inner bark reddish. Leaves opposite, elliptical, 920 cm long, 57 cm
wide, acute at both ends, entire, without visible veins, thick, leathery,
glabrous. Petiole 24.5 cm long. Flowers single in leaf axile 34 cm long,
usually drooping on stalk of 12.5 cm, red to yellowish or cream-colored, with
red to pink-red bell-shaped hypanthium. Calyx with 1014 very narrow, leathery
lobes. Petals 1014, 1315 mm long, white turning brown, each with 2 narrow
lobes ending in 34 bristles. Stamens 2, nearly hidden, at base of each petal.
Pistil with inferior 34-celled ovary, each cell with 2 ovules, style slender;
stigma with 34 short forks. Berry drooping, ovoid or turbinate, 22.5 cm
long. Seed 1, viviparous, finally 1.52 cm in diameter (Little, 1983).
Reported from the Hindustani, Africa, Australian, and Indonesian-Indochina
Centers of Diversity, Burma mangrove, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate
alkali, disease, high pH, insects, pest, salt, shade, waterlogging (NAS, 1980a;
Little, 1983). (2n = 18)
Tropical South and East Africa, Madagascar, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, southeastern
Asia, Ryukyu; throughout Malaysia to Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, and
Polynesia. Introduced into Hawaii (Little, 1983).
Estimated to range from Tropical Moist to Rain through Subtropical Moist to
Rain Forest Life Zones, Burma mangrove is reported to tolerate annual
precipitation of 10 to 80 dm, annual temperature of 20 to 26°C, and
pH of 6.0 to 8.5. One of the largest trees in the Malayan mangroves, usually
on drier well-aerated soils toward the landward side, often dominating, with
occasional stems >35 m tall. It is probably the longest lived of the
mangroves. It can stand "any amount of shade" (Hou, 1958). Mostly on brackish
or saline silts of depositing shores and marshes.
According to the NAS (1980a), planting is usually not needed because natural
regeneration is so successful. In Avicennia and Rhizophora, direct seeding
results in ca 90% survival.
Mostly harvested from natural stands. Species of Rhizophoraceae, growing only
from the tips of the branches, are often killed by indiscriminate lopping of
branches (NAS, 1980a). After felling, its regeneration is often very scant and
there is danger of overgrowth by Acrostichum (but once seedlings have
established themselves, the "fern acts rather as a nurse, forcing the seedling
up.") (Hou, 1958).
Good mangrove stand can show annual productivity of (-25) MT/ha/yr, but for
firewood purposes, I would reduce that to 1020(-25) m3 /ha/yr, figuring that
at optimal rather than average. Litterfall may account for 1/31/2 of
aboveground productivity. Because of the heaviness of the wood, mangrove is
generally more valuable than other species.
Wood widely used for charcoal and fuel (Little, 1983). For charcoal, the tree
seems to rank with Rhizophora, with an even higher calorific value. According
to WOI, the calorific value of moisture-free sapwood is 5,169 cals, heartwood
No data uncovered.
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- Burkill, J.H. 1966. A dictionary of economic products of the Malay peninsula.
Art Printing Works, Kuala Lumpur. 2 vols.
- C.S.I.R. (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research). 19481976. The wealth
of India. 11 vols. New Delhi.
- Duke, J.A. and Wain, K.K. 1981. Medicinal plants of the world. Computer index
with more than 85,000 entries. 3 vols.
- Hou, D. 1958. Rhizophoraceae. p. 429493. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (ed.),
19551958, Flora Malesiana. series 1, vol. 5, P. Nordhoff Ltd., Republic of
- Little, E.L. Jr. 1983. Common fuelwood crops: a handbook for their
identification. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, WV.
- N.A.S. 1980a. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production.
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.
- Perry, L.M. 1980. Medicinal plants of east and southeast Asia. MIT Press,
- Watt, J.M. and Breyer-Brandwijk, M.G. 1962. The medicinal and poisonous plants
of southern and eastern Africa. 2nd ed. E.&S. Livingstone, Ltd., Edinburgh
Last update Tuesday, December 30, 1997