The Nyireh (Xylocarpus rumphii) is a critically endangered seashore plant from the family Meliaceae. The various Xylocarpus species are usually called Mangrove Cannonball for their round fruits.
Personally, I have only seen a few trees at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, St John's Island and Sentosa, and one young sapling on Pulau Semakau.
The Niyireh is usually found on rocky shores and cliffs, and sometimes on upper shores above the high water mark at the back mangrove.
The bark is fissured and greyish in colour, unlike the Nyireh Bunga (Xylocarpus granatum) with flaking bark.
It has pinnately compound leaves, and the leaflets are ovate to heart shaped with pointed tips, unlike the Nyireh Batu (Xylocarpus moluccensis) with oval to egg-shaped leaflets, and the Nyireh Bunga (Xylocarpus granatum) with rounded leaflets.
The flowers form hanging clusters with whitish petals.
The fruits are round, about the size of a large apple.
The wood is used for making boats and wooden handicraft, such as traditional knife handles, while the bark is used for tanning and dying cloth. The seeds are used for treating stomachache.
- 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.