Nypa fruticans

Nypa fruticans Wrumb.

Status: Native, and Vulnerable. Cultivated.

Recent Synonyms: None relevant.

Growth Form or Habit: Shrubby. Lacking a trunk; densely packed; up to 10m tall.

IMG_5078 copy
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve; Mangrove; 2009.

Leaves: Leaflets erect, alternating and lanceolate. Each leaf have about 30-40 leaflets.

IMG_4186
Chek Jawa; Mangrove; 2009.

Stem: Thick, horizontal underground stems with distinct fissures that branch dichotomously. A new plant grows vegetatively from each branch, capable of creating extensive pure stands.

3470840542_0ba4e2eb35
Admiralty Park; Mangrove; 2009.

3470026359_d871773b6e
Admiralty Park; Mangrove; 2009.

Flowers: Male flowers catkin. Female flowers globular.

Pollination by insects and wind. Drosophilid flies possibly play a more dominant role.


Berlayar Creek; Mangrove; 2010.

Fruits: Infrutescence chestnut brown, large and spherical. The heavy weight caused the infrutescence stalk to droop. The fruits are viviparous and subsequent growth of the pulmule causes abscission.

512089995_5da1a5d5d8
Chek Jawa; Mangrove; 2007.

The fibrous fruit is buoyant and dispersed by water.

Habitat: Brackish mangrove forest strips situated further inland where there are calm conditions and high freshwater input. Able to survive in exclusively freshwater conditions.

Occurrence:

Singapore Island – Lim Chu Kang mangroves, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Reservoir, Sungei Mandai, Woodlands Town Garden, Admiralty Park, Sungei Simpang, Khabit Bongsu, near Seletar Wet-Gap, Punggol Reservoir, Pasir Ris mangroves, Sungei Changi, near Pasir Laba Camp, Poyan Reservoir, Pergam Channel, Sungei Pandan, Berlayar Creek and Coney Island.

Off Shore islands – Pulau Seletar, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, Pulau Buaya, St. John’s Island and Pulau Semakau.

Distribution: Tropical Indo-West Pacific region – From Sri Lanka through Asia to Northern Australia and the Western Pacific islands. Naturalised in West Africa, Panama and Trinidad.

Other information:

The only palm species considered as a true major element in the mangrove flora. One of the oldest flower plant species and possibly the oldest palm species dated back to the Upper Cretaceous period, 65-70 millions ago.

Reference:

Teo, S., Ang, W.F., Lok, A. F. S. L., Kurukulasuriya, B.R. and Tan, H. T. W. (2010) The status and distribution of the nipah palm, Nypa fruticans Wurmb (Arecaceae), in Singapore. Nature in Singapore, 3: 45–52.

More pictures can be found at

(1) Urban Forest website

(2) The Plant Observatory website

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: