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

From India to Polynesia and Australia. Locally, in various northern sites. Erect herbs, up to 2.5 m tall, with spiny, often yellowish stems; leaves like those of holly, leaf blade dark green, slightly to deeply lobed with a spine at each lobe's tip especially in exposed conditions, flat.

wide-shot of whole plant
Habit of A. ilicifolius
close-up of green fruit capsules
Fruits of
A. ilicifolius
Flowers in neatly organised spikes at branch tips; petals large, showy and light violet; capsules squarish and slightly flattened, exploding when ripe to send its whitish, flat seeds flying up to 2 m from the parent plant. Shaded to fully-exposed in the undergrowth and on mud lobster mounds.
close-up of inflorescence
Unlike the other
two species,
the inflorescence
of A. ilicifolius has
lilac petals (vs. white)
From Malay folklore, leaves are used as treatment for rheumatism, neuralgia and wounds of poison arrows. Rare.

See also
Jeruju hitam (Acanthus ebracteatus) 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