Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea C.F. Gaertn.

Etymology Genus From Greek, skyphos = cup, phora = bearing; referring to the oblong fruits with ridges
Species Similar to plants in the genus Hydrophyllum
Family Rubiaceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Chengam
Status Native: Common
Form Shrub
Native Distribution South India to Solomon Islands


Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea is a true mangrove species appearing as a shrub or small tree of up to 3m. The leaves are obovate and distinctly glossy, while the petiole of young leaves are often reddish. The white flowers occur in dense clusters, and the fruits are cylindrical and ribbed along the length.

Interesting Facts:

The leaves of Chengam has been used to make medicine for treating stomach issues (Wim et al., 2006). The wood is also used to make spoons, fence posts and firewood.

A shrub at Galang Island, Batam, 2019.

A small tree at Galang Baru Island, 2019.

Leaves, with red petiole.

White inflorescences.

Fruit clusters.

Fruits, showing the longitudinal ridges.


Wim G and Stephan W, Max Z & Liesbeth S (2006) Mangrove Guidebook for Southeast Asia. RAP publication 2006/07 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2019-11-03 / Modified: 2019-11-04