Bruguiera sexangula (Lour.) Poiret

Bruguiera sexangula (Lour.) Poiret




Rhizophora sexangula Lour., Bruguiera eriopetala Wight & Arnott ex Arnott.

Vernacular Names


Tumu (putih) (Peninsular, Sarawak), berus putut (Sabah).

English Black mangrove.

Bakau tampusing, busing, mata buaya.

Philippines Pototan (gener­al), busain, tagasa (Tagalog).
Cambodia Plaong prasak'.

Prasak, phangahuasum-dok-khao, prasak-nu.


V[ej]t, v[ej]t d[uf].

Geographical Distributions

Bruguiera sexangula occurs naturally from India and Sri Lanka throughout Southeast Asia to New Guinea and New Britain. It has been introduced into Hawaii, where it is now naturalised.


Bruguiera sexangula can grow up to 33 m tall while its trunk diametre is up to 65-80 cm. The buttresses are up to 1 m high which tend to develop into plank-like non-arching stilt roots. The pneumatophores are knee-shaped, up to 45 cm long that form horizontal and anchor roots. The bark is smooth, greyish to pale brown with a few, large, corky lenticels especially on the buttresses. The branch is mostly sympodial.

The leaves are arranged decussately opposite, elliptical to elliptical-oblong, rarely oblanceolate, measuring 8-16 cm x 3-6 cm, pale green, entire, and acute at both ends. The petiole is 1.5-5 cm long. The green or yellowish stipules are in pairs, measure 3.5-4 cm long and early caducous.

The flowers are solitary, generally nodding and measure 2.7-4 cm long. The pedicel is 6-12 mm long, green, yellow or brownish. The tubular sepal is with 10-12 lobes, yellow, yellow-brown or reddish, nev­er bright red, with tube 1-1.5 cm long and distinctly ridged at the base. There are 10-12 petals which are 1.5 cm long, 2-­lobed, whitish turns yellowish-brown and densely fringed with hairs along the outer margins. The lobes are half the length of the petal where each one is with a reflexed and obtuse apex that bears 1-3 bristles, measure up to 1.2 mm long and with a distinct bristle in the sinus be­tween the lobes. Each petal embraces a pair of sta­mens. The stamens are 7-14 mm long with slender style measures 1.5-2.2 cm long and with 3-4 short branches.

The fruit is a berry, more or less distinctly ribbed, and enclosed in sepal. It is 1.5-1.8 cm long. The hypocotyl is cigar-shaped, rather angular, measuring 6-8 cm x 1.5 cm and with narrow blunt end.

Ecology / Cultivation

Bruguiera sexangula occupies the inland parts of the mangrove forests which are not frequently submerged, and may be found along river banks. Occasionally, it is found on sandy shores. It occurs in soils with water that is less saline than seawa­ter, and prefers easily drained soils. In India, it is common along the outer fringes of mangrove swamps and sporadic along newly formed canals interiorly.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.11: Auxiliary plants.