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Ceriops tagal (Perr.) C.B. Rob.

Syn.: Ceriops candolliana Arn.
Tagal mangrove

Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.

  1. Uses
  2. Folk Medicine
  3. Chemistry
  4. Description
  5. Germplasm
  6. Distribution
  7. Ecology
  8. Cultivation
  9. Harvesting
  10. Yields and Economics
  11. Energy
  12. Biotic Factors
  13. References


Andamese are said to sometimes eat the fruit. Asians may use the astringent bark or the old calyx with their betel quid (Hou, 1958). Bent branches are used (as are the knees) for boats, the trunks for housebuilding. Regarded as the most durable of the mangroves. (Burkill, 1966). In Indonesia the wood is used for mine timbers and pit props. Bark used for tanning matter and as a source of a black dye. Treating nets and sails with the bark extract is said to preserve them from decay (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976).

Folk Medicine

Reported to be astringent and hemostat, tagal mangrove is a folk remedy for malaria and sores (Duke and Wain, 1981). The shoot decoction, used as a hemostat, has served as a quinine substitute (Kirtikar and Basu, 1975). The bark is also used in lotions for malignant ulcers (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976). Malays give the bark infusion to women in confinement with abdominal ailments. Filipinos used the bark to cure diabetes during the Japanese occupation (Perry, 1980).


Bark contains 23–40% tannin. Leaves contain 15.45%, twig bark 25.89%, and bole bark 41.22% tannin (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976). Twig bark may contain up to 1.77% NaCl.


Evergreen tree 5–15(-25) m high and 20–40 cm in diameter, of ten with unbranched stilt roots and thin knees 20–30 cm high. Bark light gray or reddish-brown, smooth or irregularly fissured; inner bark orange or reddish. Leaves opposite, clustered at end of twigs, obovate to elliptical, 5–10 cm long, 2–6 cm wide, rounded and emarginate at tip, acute at base, entire, thick, leathery, glabrous, without visible veins. Petiole 1–3.5 cm long, stipules paired, narrow, ca 2 cm long. Cymes single and short-stalked in leaf axils. Flowers 4–10, short stalked, ca 6 mm long. Calyx yellow-green with 5–6 narrow pointed lobes turned back on fruit; petals 5–6, white, united at base, 2-lobed and ending in 2–4 bristles, stamens 10–12; pistil with conical, partly inferior 3-celled ovary and short style. Berry drooping, ovoid, 1.5–2.5 cm long, leathery. Seed 1, viviparous, becoming cigar-shaped or club-shaped, sharply angled, 15–25(-35) cm long (Little, 1983).


Reported from the African, Australian, Hindustani, and Indonesia-Indochina Centers of Diversity, tagal mangrove, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate diseases, insects, pests, salt, and waterlogging (NAS, 1980; Little, 1983).


South and East Africa to Madagascar, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Andamans, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, southern China, Taiwan, through Malaysia to Micronesia, northern Australia, and Melanesia to New Caledonia. Rare and local in South Africa. Not widely introduced.


Estimated to range from Tropical Moist to Rain through Subtropical Moist to Rain Forest Life Zones, tagal mangrove is estimated to tolerate annual precipitation of 10 to 80 dm, annual temperature of 20 to 26°C, and pH of 6 to 8.5. Usually on well drained soils, within the reach of occasional tides in the inner mangrove. Sometimes occurs under Rhizophora or Bruguiera forest, but may form dense monospecific stands.


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.


Species of Rhizophoraceae, growing only from the tips of the branches, are often killed by indiscriminate lopping of branches (NAS, 1980a).

Yields and Economics

Cannell (1982) cites data on a mangrove forest dominated by Rhizophora, Ceriops, and Sonneratia, averaging 11 m tall, with an LAI of 3.7–4.2. The stemwood and bark on a DM basis weighed 74.4 MT/ha, the prop roots 61.2 MT/ha, the branches 15.8, the foliage 7.4, the fruits 0.3, for a total standing aerial biomass of 157 MT/ha. The CAI (current annual increment) of stem wood, bark, and branches was 20 MT/ha/yr , foliage 6.7, fruits 0.3. These data, taken from a mangrove on Phuket Island, Thailand, regenerated following clear felling, suggest annual productivity may attain 20 MT/ha/yr in Asian mangroves.


According to the data in the phytomass files (Duke, 1981b), annual productivity of mangroves is estimated to range from 5 to 25 MT/ha. Tagal mangrove has a very high fuel value, "certainly one of the best of firewoods" (Burkill, 1966). With calorific value of 5,150 cals, or 9,272 Btu, the wood is used directly as fuel, or converted to charcoal, described as excellent (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976; Little, 1983).

Biotic Factors

No data available.


Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
Last update Tuesday, December 30, 1997