Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Flowering plants
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
Jeruju hitam
Acanthus ebracteatus
Family Acanthaceae

Southeast Asia. Locally, in various northern sites as well as dykes of the Western Catchment Area. Erect, shrubby herbs up to 1.5 m tall, with many spiny, usually green stems; leaves like those of holly, leaf blade dark green, stiff, deeply lobed with sharp spines at each lobe's tip and curved in full sun, flatter in shade; with neatly organised spikes; flowers in spikes at branch tips; petals white turning brownish when older; capsules squarish and slightly flattened, exploding when ripe to send their whitish, flat seeds flying up to 2 m from the parent plant. Shaded to fully-exposed in the undergrowth and on mud-lobster mounds.

From Malay folklore, the pounded seeds are used to cure boils and to prevent the condition for as many years as there are pounded seeds in the draught, the juice of leaves is reputed to prevent hair loss and the prickly leaves are used to ward off evil spirits. Rare.
wide shot of whole plant
Habit of A. ebracteatus

close-up of a branch of leaves
Spiny leaves of A. ebracteatus
growing in full sun (left) and almost spineless ones
of the shade (right)

close-up of an inflorescence
Inflorescence of
A. ebracteatus

See also
Jeruju putih (Acanthus ilicifolius) and Jeruju (Acanthus volubilis)
Salt secretion as an adaptation to the mangroves.
What is mangrove?

The Ecosystem


Indirect uses
Potential uses

About Mangroves
in Singapore

Mangroves to visit
From "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore", Peter K. L. Ng and N. Sivasothi (editors)
Volume 1: The Ecosystem and Plant Diversity and Volume 2: Animal Diversity
Authors: Kelvin K. P. Lim, Dennis H. Murphy, T. Morgany, N. Sivasothi, Peter K. L. Ng,
B. C. Soong, Hugh T. W. Tan, K. S. Tan & T. K. Tan
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre, sponsored by British Petroleum
2001 Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre