The Nyireh Bunga (Xylocarpus granatum) is a nationally common mangrove plant from the family Meliaceae. The various Xylocarpus species are usually called Mangrove Cannonball for their round fruits.
It can be commonly found at most, if not all, of our mangrove forests, such as Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong, Mandai, Pasir Ris, Pulau Semakau, St John's Island, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Pandan Mangrove. It usually occurs at the landward side of mangroves.
The tree has "plank-like" buttress roots.
The trunk has thin and flaking barks, usually light brown in colour. The other 2 Xylocarpus species, Nyireh Batu (Xylocarpus moluccensis) and Nyireh (Xylocarpus rumphii), have fissured barks.
It has pinnately compound leaves with 1 to 2 pairs of leaflets that are round or egg-shaped with rounded tips. The other 2 Xylocarpus species have more leaflets with pointed tips.
The flowers form clusters with whitish petals.
The fruits are round, about the size of a small coconut - larger than the other The other 2 Xylocarpus species.
Like other Xylocarpus species, it has woody seeds. The fruit breaks upon drying or when it hits the ground, and the seeds are dispersed by water.
The wood is used for constructing boats and handles of small tools. The bark is used for tanning and dying cloth, while the seeds are used to treat 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.
- Ng, P. K. L., and N. Sivasothi. 1999. A guide to the mangroves of Singapore 1 : the ecosystem & plant diversity. Singapore Science Centre. Singapore. 168 pp.