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Family Rhizophoraceae
Bruguiera cylindrica (L.) Blume
Zhu guo mu lan

Scientific names Common names
Bruguiera caryophylloides (Burm.f.) Blume Bakauan (Tagalog)
Bruguiera cylindrica (L.) Blume Busain (Tag.)
Bruguiera malabarica Arn. Kalapinai (Ilk.)
Kanilia caryophylloides Blume Pototan (Tag.)
Rhizophora cylindrica L. Pototan-lalaki (Tag.)
Rhizophora caryophylloides Burm.f. Reflexed Orange Mangrove (Engl.)
  White Burma mangrove (Engl.)
Bruguiera cylindrica (L.) Blume is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online
There is a confusing sharing of common names: Pototan is shared by Pototan-lalaki (Bruguiera cylindrica, White Burma mangrove), Karandang (Bruguiera sexangula) and Pototan (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Black mangrove). This is not uncommon in Philippine nomenclatura of plant names of plants; perhaps, a lackadaisical regional adoption of common names.

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Sona champa, Thusiya, Bakula kankara.
CHINESE: Zhu guo mu lan.
GUJARATI: Kakandan.
INDONESIA: Iindur, Tanjang sukun.
MALAY: Bakau, Berus ngayong, Berus-berus, Bakau belukap, Bakau berus.
MARATHI: Kandel, Kanil, Lahan zumbar.
MAYANMAR: Byu, Saung.
ORIYA: Bokul, Dot.
TAMIL: Pannukkucci, Kaakandal
TELUGU: Vurada.
THAILAND: Thua-daeng, Thua khao, Lui, Thua dam.
VIETNAM: Vet tru, Vet khjang.
OTHERS: Pakau putih, Bakau putih, Bosang.


Gen info
- Bruguiera is a plant genus in the family Rhizophoraceae -- a small genus of five mangrove species and three hybrids.
- Etymology: The genus name honors Jean Guillaume Bruguiere (1750-1799), a French biologist and explorer. The species name derives from Latin "cylindrica"
, referring to the shape of the propagule of this species.
- B. cylindrica grows under very harsh conditions and known as the slowest-growing commercially used tree species in Malaysia. (4)

Bruguiera cylindrica is a small tree growing 10-15 m tall. Bark is gray, smooth, with few corky raised lenticels. Aerial roots or pneumatophores project from the soil in knee-shaped loops. Stipules 2.5-3.5 cm. Petiole 1-3.5 cm; leaf blade elliptic, 7-17 by 2-8 cm, thin, secondary veins abaxially remote and thin, reticulate veins mostly obscure, base cuneate, apex acute. Cymes pedunculate, 2- or 3-flowered. Pedicel 1-4 mm. Flowers greenish, less than 2 cm. Calyx tube 4-6 by ca. 2 mm, not ribbed, smooth; lobes 7 or 8, about as long as the tube. Petals white but soon turning brown, 3-4 mm, 2-lobed, outer margins usually basally fringed with white hairs. Stamens 1.5-2.5 mm. Disk in open flowers not entirely lining calyx tube. Style 3-4 mm. Fruiting calyx tube ca. 1 cm, slightly ribbed; lobes recurved. Hypocotyl cylindric, often curved, 8-15 by ca. 0.5 cm. (Flora of China) (2)

Tree up to 23 m by 20-30 cm. Leaves thin, elliptic, 7-17 by 2-8 cm, acute, base cuneate; petiole 1-4.5 cm. Stipules 2.5-3.5 cm long. Pedicels 1-4 mm. Flowers greenish, 10-12 mm long. Calyx tube smooth, 4-6 by 2 mm, lobes 8, about as long as the tube. Petals 3-4 mm long, outer margins usually fringed with white hairs at the lower part. Stamens 1.5-2.5 mm. Hypocotyl cylindrical, often curved, 8-15 by 0.5 cm. (eFlora of Thailand) (2)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Bangladesh, Bismark Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Hainan, India, Jawa, Laccadive Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maldives, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Queensland, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam.

- In Malaysia, it occupies the highest parts of the mangrove forest along the seacoast where flooding is only occasional, up to 20 m above sea level. (4)

- GC-MS and UHPLC-Q-Exative Orbitrap HRMS metabolic profiling of ethyl acetate extract of Bruguiera cylindrica leaves yielded 36 compounds belonging to different classes of secondary metabolites viz. flavonoids, fatty acids, fatty acid amides, carboxylic acids, and alkaloids. Pentacyclic triterpenes like betulin, ursolic acid and atropine, an alkaloids with potential pharmacological and therapeutic activities such as anticancer properties, neuromuscular blockers and antioxidants, were also identified. (9)
- Study of fruits isolated six new pentacyclic triterpenoid esters (1-6) together with 3α- and 3ß-taraxerol. Structure of the new compounds were characterized as 3α-E-feruloyltaraxerol (1), 3α-Z-feruloyltaraxerol (2), 3ß-E-feruloyltaraxerol (3), 3ß-Z-feruloyltaraxerol (4), 3α-E-coumaroyltaraxerol (5), and 3α-Z-coumaroyltaraxerol. (see study below) (13)
- Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, saponins, tannins, and terpenoids, with absence of alkaloids, glycosides, phenols, and steroids.  (15)
- Phytochemical screening of crude methanolic extract of leaves yielded carbohydrates, glycosides, phenol, tannin protein, gum and mucilages. (see study below) (16)
- Study isolated three new pentacyclic triterpenoid esters 1-3 along with six known lupane-type triterpenoids. Structures of the new compounds were elucidated and characterized as 3α-E-coumaroyl-lupeol (1), 3α-Z-coumaroyllupeol (2) and 3α-E-caffeoyltaraxerol (3). (20)

Studies have suggested antioxidant, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antiviral, α-glucosidase inhibitory, anticancer, AChE inhibitory, thrombolytic, membrane stabilizing, mosquitocidal properties.

Parts used
Bark, leaves, twigs, fruits.


- Young hypocotyls are  edible; boiled and eaten as vegetable or preserve, usually in times of famine.
- Young radicles occasionally eaten with sugar and coconut. Young shoots eaten as salad. (4)
- Bark is a source of spice.
- No found folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
-- Bark used to stop hemorrhage and applied to malignant ulcers.
- Plant parts used in Chinese and Indian Medicine for treatment of diarrhea, fever, and many other ailments.
- In Thailand, used for wound healing and to treat diarrhea.
- Leaves used to lower blood pressure.
- Wood: Timber is dense, reddish, and strong. Used for light construction, for parts of the hull and keel of canoes. The crushed bark has an unusual odor that is repulsive to fish, for which it is avoided for use as fish traps. (21)
- Fuel: Used for firewood, and charcoal.

- Perfume: Extracts made from pneumatophores are used in the manufacture of perfume.  (21)

Study evaluated the antioxidant activities of two Indian mangrove plants, Bruguiera cylindrica and Ceriops decandra. Bruguiera cylindrica yielded 233.3 ± 0.062 mg gallic acid equivalent/g phenolic contents and 11.6 ± 0.12 mg quercetin equivalent/g flavonoid content. The extracts exhibited high antiradical activity against DPPH, ABTS, and OH radical. Reductive capacity increased with increasing concentration. Extract also inhibited H2O2 induced hemolysis in cow blood erythrocytes. Antioxidant activity was stronger than reference butylated hydroxy toluene (BHT).  The plant can be considered a good source of natural antioxidants. (5)
Antibacterial / Leaves / Twigs: Mangroves are potential natural antibacterial sources. Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of wet and dried leaf extracts of B. cylindrica. The ethanol extract showed to be the best solvent for phenolic and flavonoid extraction. The widest zone of inhibition was shown by wet extracts against S. aureus and E. coli at 14.3 and 13.3 mm, respectively. (6) Study evaluated dried samples of bark, leaf pod and twig of B. cylindrica macerated with methanol. Crude extract of each part was screened for antibacterial activity against aquatic pathogenic bacteria. Most plant extracts showed a wide range of antibacterial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The leaf and twig extracts showed lowest MIC/MBC to S. agalactiae. Activity was attributed to terpenoids from the leaf and twig. (12) In a study of Bruguiera leaf extract for antimicrobial activity, an ethanol extract showed highest diameter of zone of inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus with 14.30 mm and against E. coli with 13.30 mm. (19)
Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated effect of ethanolic extract of B. cylindrica leaves on the rate of glucose transport across cell membrane in yeast cells system. The increase of percentage of glucose uptake by yeast cells was found in glucose concentrations varying from 5 to 25 mM in the presence of 1 and 5 mg/ml of B. cylindrica ethanolic extract. Results suggest BCEE has potential as a therapeutic agent and as source of novel bioactive compounds for treatment of T2DM. (7)
Silver Nanoparticles against Dengue Virus DEN-2 and Mosquito Ae. aegypti: Study reports on the biosynthesis of antiviral and mosquitocidal silver nanoparticles using aqueous extract of B. cylindrica leaves. The aqueous extract and green-synthesized NPs were tested against primary dengue vector Aedes aegypti. The AgNOs were the most effective with LC50 range of 8.93 ppm (larva I) to 30.69 ppm (pupa). In vitro, 30 µg/ml of AgNOs significantly inhibited the production of dengue viral envelope (E) protein in vero cells and downregulated the expression of dengue viral E gene. Results highlight the potential of the AgNPs against dengue virus. The AgNPs can be employed at low doses to reduce larval and pupal population of Ae. aegypti without detrimental effects of predation rates of mosquito predators, such as C. auratus. (8)
α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the α-glucosidase inhibitory activity of B. cylindrica, along with constituents of ethyl acetate extract of the plant. Two new compounds, benzobrugierol (1) and bruguierine (2) were isolated from the leaves, along with nine other compounds. The extracts and some isolated compounds were evaluated for α-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Results showed most of the extracts and tested compounds exhibited better activities than positive control acarbose, especially the two new compounds (1 and 2) with IC50s of 17.9 ± 0.4 and 34.6 ± 0.7 mg/mL, respectively. (10)
Antiviral Activity from Mangrove Halophytes / Leaves: Study evaluated extracts of different portions of mangroves in vitro against four RNA viruses viz., New Castle disease virus, encephalomyocarditis virus, Semliki forest virus and human immunodeficiency virus and two DNA viruses - vaccinia virus and hepatitis B. A broad spectrum antiviral activity was exhibited in the leaves of Bruguiera cylindrica and bark of Rhizophora mucronata. (11)   Of 73 extracts examined, 43 exhibited antiviral activity (>50%) against at least any one of the viruses. Only two extracts, leaf of B. cylindrica and bark of Rhizophora mucronata showed activity against all viruses tested. (17)
Pentacyclic Triterpenoid Esters / Cytotoxicity / Fruits: Study of fruits isolated six new pentacyclic triterpenoid esters (1-6). Compounds 2 and 6 ( 3ß-E-feruloyltaraxerol and 3α-Z-coumaroyltaraxerol) exhibited weak cytotoxicity against the NCI-H187 cell line. (see constituents above) (13)
AChE Inhibitory Potential / Taraxerol Esters / Leaves: Systematic chemical screening of leaves yielded five single and pure compounds: taraxerol (1), 3ß-(E)-coumaroyltaraxerol (2), 3ß-(Z)-coumaroyltaraxerol (3), ß-sitosterol (4), and eicosanol (5). From compound1, taraxerol, ten cinnamyl esters were synthesized in very good excellent yields. Compound 9 showed promising AChE inhibition with significantly low IC50 values, low cytotoxicity, and high BBB permeability. Results suggest compound 9 can be a lead molecule for the development of a potent AChE inhibitor. (14)
Thrombolytic / Membrane Stabilizing / Cytotoxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated the in vitro thrombolytic, membrane stabilizing and cytotoxic activities of crude methanolic extracts of B. cylindrica leaves, which was cleaned, dried, and ground to a powdery mass. Extract at 10 mg/ml concentration showed moderate clot lysis (14.51 — 1.87%) while standard streptokinase showed 59.73 ± 0.97% clot lysis. Extracts also exhibited significant anti-inflammatory properties at 10 mg/ml by both hypotonic solution and heat induced hemolysis of erythrocyte membrane. Cytotoxicity by Brine shrimp lethality bioassay  showed moderate cytotoxic properties with LC50 of 16.628. (16)
Chemoprevention of  Gastric Cancer / Leaves: Study evaluated the effects of B. cylindrica leaves extract on anti-gastric cancer activities of Benzo(a) pyrene (BaP)-induced gastric cancer in albino mice. Tumor incidence was 100% in mice that received only B(a)P. Administration of B. cylindrica significantly reduced the incidence of stomach tumors, modulated lipid peroxidation and enhanced antioxidant status in the stomach, liver, and blood, which may all contribute to its chemopreventive effect. (18)


September 2022

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Rhizophoraceae : Bruguiera cylindrica flower / Copyright © 2012 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL48364] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Rhizophoraceae : Bruguiera cylindrica flower / Shagil Kannur / CC by SA 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration / Mangrove plant (Bruguiera cylindrica Blume -- branch with flower and fruit / Hortus Malabaricus, Vol 6:59, tab 33 / CC by SA 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

Bruguiera cylindrica / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Bruguiera cylindrica Blume / WFO: The World Flora Online
Bruguiera cylindrica (L.) Bl. / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB
Bruguiera cylindrica / Pl@ntUse / PROSEA
Antioxidant activities of bark extract from mangroves, Bruguiera cylindrica (L.) Blume and Ceriops decandra Perr / M Krishnamoorthy, J M Sasikumar, B Nagarajan et al /  Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 2011; 43(5): pp 557-562 / DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.84972
Development of extract library from Indonesian biodiversity: exploration of antibacterial activity of mangrove Bruguiera cylindrica leaf extracts / K A Audah, J Amsyir et al / IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Vol 130: 012025
In Vitro Antidiabetic Activity of Ethanolic Leaf Extract pf Brubuiera cylindrica L. - Glucose Uptake by Yeast Cells Method / Revathi Pitchaipillai, Thirumalaikolundusubramanian Ponniah / IBBJ: International Biological & Biomedical Journal, 2016; 2(4): pp 171-175
Nanoparticles in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases: bioactivity of Bruguiera cylindrica-synthesized nanoparticles against dengue virus DEN-2 (in vitro) and its mosquite vector Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) / Kadarkarai Murugan, Devakumar Dinesh, Giovanni Benelli / Parasitology Research, 2015; 114: pp 4249-4361 / DOI: 10.1007/s00436-015-4676-8
Metabolite profiling of Gruguiera cylindrica reveals presence of potential bioactive compounds / Nilesh Lakshman Dahibhate, Kundan Kumar / PerrJ Analytical Chemistry, 4:e16 / DOI: 10.7717/peerj-achem.16
Two new compounds from leaves of Bruguiera cylindrica (L.) Blume with the in vitro α-glucosidase inhibitory activity / Thuy Thi Le Nguyen, Tung Thanh Bui, Trung Tien Nguyen et al / Science and Technology Developmnent Journal, 2019; 22(1) / DOI: 10.32508/stdj.v23i4.2457
Mangrove Halophytes: A source of antiviral substances / Mariappan Premanathan, Kandasamy Kathiresan, Hideki Nakashima / South Pacific Study, 1999; 19(1-2)
Phytochemical Screening of Bruguiera cylindrica Extracts and Pathogenic Antibacterial Activities/ Luksamee Vittaya, Uton Charoendat et al / RMUTSV Research Journal, May-Aug 2020; 12(2)
Pentacyclic Triterpenoid Exters from the Fruits of Bruguiera cylindrica / Surat Laphookhieo, Chatchanok Karalai et al / J. Nat Product, 2004; 67(5): pp 886-888 / DOI: 10.1021/np0305122
Isolation, Synthesis, and AChE Inhibitory Potential of Some Novel Cinnamyl Esters of Taraxerol, The Major Metabolite of the Mangrove Bruguiera cylindrica / Vidyan Nithyamol Kalappurakkal, Dwaipaya Bhattacharya, Sumana Chakravarty, Mallavadhani Venkata Uppuluri / Chemistry & Biodiversity, 15(4): e1800008
Studies on Phytochemical Constituents of Some Selected Mangroves / S Poompozhil and D Kumarasamy / Journal of Academia and Industrial Research (JAIR), March 2014; 2(10)
Elucidation of In-Vitro thrombolytic, membrane stabilizing, cytotoxic activities and phytochemical nature of Bruguiera cylindrica leaves /  Safiqul Islam, MD Shalahuddin Millat, Meer Hossain et al / PTP: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Biomedical Reports, 2017; 3(1) / DOI: 10.5530/PTB.2017.3.2.
A Survey of Some Indian Marine Plants for Antiviral Activty
/ M Premnathan, K Chandra, S K Bahpai, K Kathiresan / Btanica Marina, 1992; 35: pp 321-324
Chemoprevention of Gastric Cancer by mangrove plant species Bruguiera cylindrica against Benzo(a)pyrene induced gastric cancer in albino mice / P Thirunavukkarasu, S Asha, T Ramanathan, V Manigandan, P Dinesh / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science Research, 2014; 4(1): pp 12-17 / ISSN: 2249-0337
Study of Antimicrobial Activiity of Bruguiera cylindrica Leaf Extract against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus / Almasyhur, Farida and Audah, Kholis Abdurachim and Susanto / Thesis
Triterpenoid Esters from Bruguiera cylindrica / Chatchanok Karalai and Surat Laphookhieo / Australian Journal of Chemistry, 2005; 58(7): pp 556-559 / DOI: 10.1071/CH05010
Bruguiera cylindrica / Wikipedia

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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