The Nyireh Batu (Xylocarpus moluccensis) is a nationally endangered mangrove plant from the family Meliaceae. The various Xylocarpus species are usually called Mangrove Cannonball for their round fruits.
Personally, I have seen good populations on Pulau Ubin, Pandan Mangroves and in Pasir Ris, and several trees in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and on Pulau Tekong and Pulau Semakau. They are usually found in tidal forests, on banks of tidal creeks, usually nearer to the back of the mangroves.
Mature trees may have small buttresses with conical pneumatophores.
The bark on the main trunk is deeply fissured, although the branches are usually smooth, compared to the Nyireh Bunga (Xylocarpus granatum) with flaking bark.
It has pinnately compound leaves, and the leaflets are oval to egg-shaped with pointed tips, compared to the Nyireh (Xylocarpus rumphii) with ovate to heart shaped leaflets, and the Nyireh Bunga (Xylocarpus granatum) with rounded leaflets. It usually has three or more pairs of leaflets.
The plant is deciduous, and hence sometimes all the leaves will turn yellow or orange, and eventually fall off, turning the tree bare.
The flowers form clusters with whitish petals.
The fruits are round, about 10cm wide.
The wood is used for house and boat constructions, making handles for small tools and firewood. The fruits, seeds and bark are used for stomach problems.
- Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett. 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. Singapore. 273 pp.
- Giesen, W., S. Wulffraat, M. Zieren & L. Scholten. 2006. Mangrove guidebook for Southeast Asia. RAP Publication 2006/07. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific & Wetlands International. Bangkok. 769 pp.