Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Flowering plants
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
Sea hibiscus
Hibiscus tiliaceus
Family Malvaceae

Throughout the tropics as a cultivated or wild species. Locally, it is found at most sites. A spreading, many-branched tree to 15 m tall. Leaves are spirally arranged, and the blades are heart-shaped with a pointed tip and slightly toothed, dark green above and whitish and short-hairy below.
wide shot of the two types of trees
Trees of Hibiscus tiliceus (left)
and Thespesia populnea
(Portia tree)

close-up of bark
close-up of flower

close-up of ripe seed capsules
Side (left) and top views
of splitting capsules
The few-flowered inflorescences are found at the branch tips or leaf angles. Petals are bright yellow fading to a dull orange, with a maroon eye. The filaments of the stamens are joined together into a light yellow tube and the stigmas are a deep crimson purple.
The capsules are somewhat spherical, topped by the persistent sepals. The flowers open at about 9 am and close at 4 pm. The bark fibre is used for string or ropes for making fishing nets or caulking boats. On beaches and mangroves and frequently planted in beach parks. Differs from the Portia tree in that the sepals form a pointed tipped cup (vs. smooth-edged), the papery, hairy-below, broader, above matte dark green and toothed leaf blades (vs. slightly fleshy, hairless, narrower, above shiny green and smooth-edged leaf blades) and deep crimson purple stigmas (vs. yellow).
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