Xylocarpus granatum J. König

Xylocarpus granatum J. König




Carapa granatum (J. König) Alston, Carapa obovata Blume, Xylocarpus obovata (Blume) A. Juss.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Nyireh bunga (General), nyireh ayer (Sarawak), nyireh hudang (Peninsular).

Cannonball mangrove.

Indonesia Nyireh bunga (General), giliki gota (Moluccas), niri (Sundanese).
Thailand Kra buun khao, ta buun, ta buun khao (Central, Peninsular).
Philippines Tabigi (General), kalumbabau (Zambales), kolimbauing (Iloko).
Myanmar Pinle-on.

Châm'-puu praèk, t'bôôn.


Xu'o'ng cá, dang dinh.

Singapore Nyireh bunga.

Geographical Distributions

Xylocarpus granatum is distributed from East Africa and Madagascar towards India, Indo-China, the Ryukyu Islands, the Malesian area, northern Australia and the Pacific, east to Fiji and Tonga.


Xylocarpus granatum is an evergreen or sometimes deciduous, monoecious or rarely dioecious, small to medium-sized tree that can reach up to 20(-30) m tall. The bole is crooked to straight, branchless for up to 10 m, measuring up to 90(-100) cm in diametre and is usually with small buttresses and snail roots. The surface of the bark is smooth, irregularly flaking, whitish to yellow-brown or rough and longitudinally fissured. The inner bark is green, red or pink. The crown is narrow and compact to bushy.

The leaves are arranged spirally, paripinnate with (1-)2-4(-5) pairs of entire leaflets and without stipules. The 4-merous flowers are axillary. The sepal is lobed while the petals are free and pinkish-yellow. The staminal tube is urn-shaped to cupular and bears 8 anthers. The red disk is cushion-shaped. The ovary is 4(-5)-locular with 3-4(-6) ovules in each cell, superior, with short style and a discoid stigma.

The fruit is a large, tardily dehiscing and nearly spherical capsule. There are 5-20 seeds which are irregularly tetrahedral or pyramidal and attached to a central columella, and with a corky testa. Seedling is with hypogeal germination. The cotyledons are not emergent. The hypocotyl is not elongated while the epicotyl bears scales followed by simple leaves.

Ecology / Cultivation

Xylocarpus species are locally common in mangrove swamps, beaches and coastal woodlands on rock, sand and other substrates, generally on locations only flooded at exceptionally high tides. They occur in areas with seasonal climates as well as those with non-seasonal climates. X. granatum is often associated with Nypa and Sonneratia species and may be locally gregarious. X. granatum tolerates a salinity of 0.1-3%. Xylocarpus is a moderate light demander, enduring more shade when young than it does later on. A decrease in freshwater supply during  dry season can result in high mortality.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers.