Cynometra iripa

wrinkle pod mangrove


Cynometra iripa

Kostel. 1935

pronounced: KY-no-MET-ruh IH-rip-uh

(Fabaceae — the pea family)

subfamily: Caesalpinioideae - the cassia subfamily


common name: wrinkle pod mangrove

native 4Cynometra is from two Greek words, κυων, possessive κυνος (kywn, kynos) a dog, and μετρον (metron) a measure; iripa is a Malayalam name for the plant.

This is a widespread, and often locally common, mangrove, found in mangrove swamps, littoral scrub, on or near the beach, but also found in hills at elevations of up to 500 m. Its range is from south-east Asia (India and Sri Lanka, peninsular Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines) to New Guinea, Australia and Micronesia.

In Australia it is found on the east coast of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, on Cape York Peninsula, and down the east coast of Queensland almost as far as the Tropic of Capricorn. The photographs were taken at the outflow of Butler Creek in Picnic Bay.

The plant is a shrub or straggly tree up to 8 m tall, with a fluted trunk and smooth, thin, grey bark. The branches are with lenticels, glabrous or rusty-pubescent.

Leaves are usually bijugate, but some may be unijugate. The bijugate leaves have the upper pair of leaflets much larger than the lower pair; leaflets are obliquely oblong-ovate or oblong-obovate, the tip blunt or retuse, 6-9 cm by 2-4 cm, glabrous, shining on both surfaces.

The flowers are small, zygomorphic, bisexual, white but turning brown, occuring in short, axillary racemes or clusters, or borne on the branchlets, on pubescent pedicels up to 9 mm in length. There are 4 or 5 sepals, and 5 free petals. The 10 stamens have long slender filaments; the ovary is  inserted, asymmetrically elliptical, the style slender, the stigma capitate.
Fruits are compressed ellipsoid in shape, 2-3 cm, full of wrinkles, with a lateral beak, single-seeded and indehiscent. The seed is distributed by water currents

The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber, which is mainly used locally.

Photographs taken in Picnic Bay 2016
Page last updated 9th December 2018