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  Avicennia alba
  Family Name : Acanthaceae

  Common Names : Api Api, Api Api Putih

Api Api,Api Api Putih
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      South East Asia, including Singapore, Australia and the Pacific islands.
      Native Habitat :
      Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Common)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Medium to large tree growing up to 20 m approx. 
      Trunk: Smooth, brownish black bark.
      Roots: Extensive lateral root system stretching just below the soil surface with pencil-like breathing roots, also known as pneumatophores, sticking vertically out of the muddy ground to take in oxygen. Pneumatophores may grow up to a height of 15 - 20 cm.
      Foliage: Oblong to lanceolate pointed leaves, smooth, glossy-green above and very pale under, 15 by 5 cm. Upper surface is covered with many glandular dots, able to excrete salt due to presence of salt glands in the leaves.
      Flowers: Yellow to orange flowers measuring 3 - 4 mm across, and usually in 10 - 30 flowered clusters that are 1.5 - 3 cm long. Upper half of ovary is usually hairy.
      Fruits: Pale green in colour, egg-shaped with a broad base and a pronounced beak, measuring up to 4 cm. All Avicennia spp. exhibits crytovivipary, in which the embryo germinates within the fruit but does not enlarge sufficiently to break through the fruit wall.
      Habitat :
      Usually found on newly-formed mud banks on the seaward side of mangrove forests. Avicennia spp. are usually pioneer species in newly formed mangrove forests.
      Etymology :
      Alba and putih, which means white in Latin and Malay respectively, are both used to describe the under side colour of the leaves. 
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
      Medicinal (Seeds are a source of resin and ointment for treating skin diseases and wounds.), Timber & Products (Wood is used to build houses, furniture and boats. Bark can be used for tanning leather.)
  • Landscaping Features
    • Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Saline Soils / Salt Spray
      Landscape Uses :
      Coastal, Riverine
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Moth Food Plant
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna)
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Abiotic (Water)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Lots of Water, Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Potential Problems :
      Sooty mould and Avicennia seed moth.
      Propagation Method :
      Viviparious Propagule
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Cream / Off-White, Green, [Remarks] (Greenish on the top side of leaf, whitish on the under side of leaf.)
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Glossy / Shiny
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Foliar Base :
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Yellow / Golden
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Green - Light Green
      Mature Fruit Texture(s) :
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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