Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Rhizophora mucronata

Also known as Bakau Kurap, this mangrove tree is native to Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Comoros, Djibouti, and Egypt.

Bakua Kurap is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to about 15m tall, though it only grows to about 3m only. Those closer to the sea grow taller while those closer inland tend to be shorter. The bark is a dark colour, almost black, and horizontally fissured. It has numerous aerial stilt roots that buttress the trunk.

The shiny green leaves are shaped like eyes at about 8 to 15cm long with an elongated tip. They are leathery and spottoed with tiny spots on the underside of the leaf. They have pale yellowish stipules present.

The brown fruits resemble upside-down pears about 3 to 4cm big and have small short sepals. The fruits are viviparous, meaning  they start to germinate while still on attached to the tree. The root will begin to elongate and may reach a length of about a metre long before the propagule detaches itself from the branch and takes root in the mud below.

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