Barringtonia racemosa (Powderpuff Mangrove)

Scientific Name

Barringtonia racemosa (L.) Spreng.

Common Names

Powderpuff Mangrove, Powder Puff Tree, Fish-killer Tree, Fish-poison Tree, Fish-poison Wood, Sea Poison Tree, Freshwater Mangrove, Small-leaved Barringtonia, China Pine, Putat Kampung


Barringtonia apiculata, Barringtonia caffra, Barringtonia celebesensis, Barringtonia ceramensis, Barringtonia ceylanica, Barringtonia elongata, Barringtonia excelsa, Barringtonia inclyta, Barringtonia lageniformis, Barringtonia longiracemosa, Barringtonia obtusangula, Barringtonia pallida, Barringtonia rosaria, Barringtonia rosata, Barringtonia rumphiana, Barringtonia salomonensis, Barringtonia stravadium, Barringtonia terrestris, Barringtonia timorensis, Butonica alba, Butonica apiculata, Butonica caffra, Butonica ceylanica, Butonica inclyta, Butonica racemosa, Butonica rosata, Butonica rumphiana, Butonica terrestris, Caryophyllus racemosus, Eugenia racemosa, Huttum racemosum, Megadendron ambiguum, Megadendron pallidum, Menichea rosata, Michelia apiculata, Michelia ceylanica, Michelia racemosa, Michelia rosata, Michelia timorensis, Stravadium album, Stravadium obtusangulum, Stravadium racemosum

Scientific Classification

Family: Lecythidaceae
Genus: Barringtonia


Color: White and pink
Bloom Time: Flowering occurs year-round


Barringtonia racemosa has a straight, unbranched stem that leads to a rounded crown and is usually up to 26 feet (8 m) tall, but occasionally reaches 50 feet (15 m). The bark is greyish brown to pink with white blotches and raised dots and lines. The branches are marked with leaf scars. The leaves are alternate and carried in clusters at the ends of branches, up to 12.6 inches (32 cm) long and up to 6 inches (15 cm) wide, with petioles up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) long. The midribs are prominent on the lower side of the leaf, and the branching veins are visible on both sides. The flowers are produced on hanging racemes up to 3.3 feet (1 m) long. The buds are pinkish-red and split open to bring forth masses of delicate stamens in white sprays up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide, which are often tinged with pink.

Barringtonia racemosa - Powderpuff Mangrove
Photo via


USDA hardiness zone 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Grows naturally in moderately humid to humid tropical coastal climates, generally in areas with annual lows of 68 to 77 °F (20 to 25 °C), yearly highs of 81 to 93 °F (27 to 34 °C), annual rainfall of 1000 to 4000 mm and a dry season of 6 months or less.

Sea Poison Tree grows best in a fertile, humid, well-drained soil. Prefers a position in full sun or light shade. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant and very tolerant of saline conditions and salt-laden winds. They thrive in the wild, where their roots dabbling in the brackish waters of lagoons, inlets, estuaries, and seasonally flooded coastal regions.

New plants are usually grown from seed. It performs best on free-draining sand and loam soils of a slightly acid to alkaline nature, generally with a pH of 6.0 to 8.5 and on sites with full sun exposure. It has good tolerance to salt, wind, tidal flooding, and coral derived limestone soils. See more at How to Grow and Care for a Sea Poison Tree (Barringtonia asiatica).


It is found in coastal swamp forests and on the edges of estuaries in the Indian Ocean, starting at the east coast of Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) to Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, southern China, northern Australia, coastal Taiwan, the Ryukyu Islands, and many Polynesian islands.


Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

We participate in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliate sites.