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  Barringtonia racemosa (L.) Spreng.
  Family Name : Lecythidaceae

  Synonyms : Barringtonia racemosa, Barringtonia inclyta

  Common Names : Common Putat, Fish-Killer Tree, Fish-Poison Tree, Freshwater Mangrove, Powder-Puff Tree, Putat Ayam, Putat Kampong, Small-Leaved Barringtonia

  Chinese Name : 水茄笗, 细叶棋盘脚树, 玉蕊

Common Putat,Fish-Killer Tree,Fish-Poison Tree,Freshwater Mangrove,Powder-Puff Tree,Putat Ayam,Putat Kampong,Small-Leaved Barringtonia
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Rounded, Weeping / Pendulous
      Maximum Height :
      4 m to 27 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      East and south Africa, Madagascar, Republic of Seychelles, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, throughout Southeast Asia (including Singapore), and the Pacific Islands to northern Australia
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Riverine), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest; Backshore; Sandy Beach; Rocky Beach)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is a small or medium-sized, straggling tree up to 27 m tall.
      Foliage: Its alternate, shortly-stalked to stalkless leaves possess thinly leathery leaf blades that are green, drop-shaped-oblong to narrowly drop-shaped, 5–42 by 2–16 cm, slightly toothed at the margins, with short tips and yellow veins.
      Flowers: Its hanging flowering shoots are 20–100 cm long. Its large, shortly-stalked flowers are fragrant, 7.6–10 cm wide, with red sepals, white or red petals, and white, pink or red stamens.
      Fruits: Its fruits are usually 1-seeded, oblong or rather pear-shaped, green or flushed reddish when ripe, and 3–9 by 2–6.4 cm, with four, faint grooves. Its seed is 2–4 cm long.
      Habitat :
      It grows in the landward side of mangrove forest, primary and secondary forests on the banks of tidal creeks, rivers and swampy areas, and on sandy or rocky shores, up to 900 m altitude. It occurs locally in Western Catchment Area, and in the vicinity of MacRitchie Reservoir.
      Associated Fauna :
      It is the food plant for caterpillars of the moths Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth), Gnathmocerodes tonsoria, and Thosea andamanica. Its flowers are pollinated by bats and moths.
      Cultivation :
      Grows well in slightly saline, heavy soils. It can be propagated by seed, or stem cuttings.
      Etymology :
      Latin Barringtonia, after Hon. Daines Barrington (1727–1800), English naturalist; Latin racemosa, flowers growing in racemes, referring to the plant’s racemous flowering shoot consisting of a central axis with stalked flowers along it with the youngest at the tip and the older ones progressively lower
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves; Edible Seeds)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: The young or cooked leaves (to remove their bitterness) are edible. The pounded seeds are used to make edible flour.)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves; Edible Seeds), Medicinal (The seeds, bark, leaves, fruits, and roots are used medicinally for various ailments and diseases.), Timber & Products (The wood is utilized as firewood, and for construction. The bark provides a source of fibre.)
      [Others]: The powdered bark and all other parts of the plant were exploited as a fish poison, while their extracts may be used as an insecticide. The bark and roots are used as tanning agents as they contain high levels of tannin. It is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental tree along roadsides.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      This tree is cultivated in parks, large gardens and and is suitable for roadsides. It has attractive red and white flowers on long, hanging flowering shoots, and large reddish fruits. It can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, so making it suitable for most sites, including beaches to edges of ponds and reservoirs.
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits, Fragrant (Flowers: Day, Night, Dawn / Dusk; [Remarks]: Scented seed)
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow, [Remarks] (Heavy clay soils)
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Riverine, Pond / Lake / River, Shade Providing Tree / Palm
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Naturalistic Garden, Economic Garden
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Bat Food (Flower Nectar)
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth); Vertebrates (Bat))
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Abiotic (Water)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Lots of Water, Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting
      Propagule Establishment Remarks :
      Seeds generally germinate in 10 to 14 days.
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Leathery, Raised / Sunken Veins, Thin
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Petiolate, Sessile
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate; Lanceolate; Elliptical; Oblong)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Serrate / Toothed
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Trunk Type (Non-Palm) :
      Bark Colour(s) :
      Grey-brown to pinkish
      Mature Bark Texture :
      Stem Type & Modification :
      Root Type :
      Underground (Tap Root; Fibrous Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Pink, White
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Flower Size :
      Remarks (4cm across)
      Inflorescence Type :
      Flowering Opening Time :
      Night (dusk to dawn)
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Green, Red
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Fleshy Fruit
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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