Botanical Name: Barringtonia racemosa
Synonyms: Barringtonia insignis Miq. Barringtonia pallida (Miers) Koord. & Valeton Barringtonia salomonensis Rech.
Common Name: Barringtonia, brack-water mangrove, common putat, freshwater mangrove, hippo apple, powder-puff tree, wild guava
Seeds collection period: Nov-Dec.
Seeds longevity: 1-3year
Barringtonia racemosa is usually a small tree, 4-8 m in height but occasionally reaching 15 m; bark grey, yellow or brown, mottled, rather smooth to fissured; no aboveground roots but may have spreading surface roots. Leaves alternate, simple, crowded at the ends of the branches, large, obovate-oblong to oblanceolate, 8-35 x 4-13 cm; apex deep green, broadly tapering; base narrowly tapering, running into the petiole; margin entire or very shallowly toothed or scalloped; petiole very short, without hairs. Flowers attractive, white to pale pink, in many-flowered pendulous sprays; up to 60 cm in length or even more; bisexual; all floral parts in 4s; sepals joined at the base, separating in 3-4 lobes, green flushed with pink, about 10 x 7.5 mm; petal elliptic, up to 3 x 1 cm, attached to the staminal tube; stamens many, long, white or pinkish, forming a large central mass 3.5 cm in diameter; ovary 2 to 4 chambered; style red. Fruit conical to ovate, about 3 x 2 cm, crowned by the remains of the persistent calyx; style fleshy at first, later becoming hard, fibrous and yellowish-brown when mature. Seeds aromatic.
Food, Fuel, Fiber, Timber, Medicine.
The wood is light and soft and is used for light work that does not require great strength. Utilized for temporary construction, local house building (posts and beams), general planking, flooring, boat building, mouldings, interior finish, handles of non-striking tools, household utensils, agricultural implements, boxes and crates and wooden pallets. It is suitable for veneer and plywood manufacturing. In India, it is used additionally for carts, rice pounders and cabinetwork. In the Philippines, it has been reported that when treated with preservatives, the timber can be used to make good ties and paving blocks. In the Pacific region, the wood has additionally been used for carving and turnery.