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  Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh.
  Family Name : Acanthaceae

  Synonyms : Avicennia intermedia

  Common Names : Api-api Jambu

Api-api Jambu
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Big (>30m); Medium (16m-30m))
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      South East Asia, including Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, East Africa, India, Pacific Islands.
      Native Habitat :
      Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Medium to large tree growing up to 30 m approx. 
      Trunk: Smooth, or slightly flaky grey trunk.
      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: Elliptic or oblong-obovate leaves with a round tip, pale green lower surface and measuring up to 9 by 4.5 cm. Upper surface is covered with glandular dots.
      Stems: Cross section of small branches or stems will show a characteristic square shape, unlike other Avicennia species which are rounded.
      Flowers: Small, regular, orange to dark orange flowers measuring 5 - 8 mm, waxy surface, terminal flower clusters usually have about 2 - 12 flowers. Corolla has 4 equal lobes, ovary has a short style and a median ring of hairs that do not conceal the stigma.
      Fruits: Light green in colour, ovoid in shape with a broad base and sharp apical beak, measuring about 2 cm across. 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 :
      Found on riverbanks, mouth of rivers, lagoons, rocky beaches and lower tidal areas. Avicennia spp. are usually pioneer species in newly formed mangrove forests.
      Etymology :
      Api, means fire in Malay. This is usually associated to fireflies as they can sometimes be seen congregating around this species.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
      Medicinal (Leaves are used to treat burns and bark resin is used as a contraceptive.), Timber & Products (Wood is used to build houses, furniture, boats and firewood. Bark can be used for tanning leather.)
  • Landscaping Features
    • Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
      Landscape Uses :
      Coastal, Riverine
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • 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 :
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Green - Light Green
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Glossy / Shiny, Leathery
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
  • 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
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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