Barringtonia asiatica (Lecythidaceae) or locally known as putat laut is a common species along sea shores. The fruits are buoyant, hence its widespread distribution on many islands and shores. The species can attain up to 30m tall, often with multi branches. The wood is used in construction work and also to make canoes. Traditionally, putat is used for medicinal purposes where the young leaves of Barringtonia asiatica and Morinda citrifolia (mengkudu) are squeezed into water and drunk to relieve stomach-ache. Fresh leaves are heated and applied on fresh cuts and in chronic infected skin conditions. The shoots of putat laut are eaten by deers and they are also edible to people after some preparation to get rid of the latex. The fruits are also known to be eaten but the dried seed however, is considered highly poisonous and can cause death. The fruit, bark and mostly pounded fresh seeds of putat can be used as fish poison. The conservation status of this species is Least Concern. This species flowers and fruits throughout the year. The tree can be seen at Kg. Jawa and near the parking lot of Building D4.
*Pictures by Norsham, Wan Nafizul, Azahari and Noor Azlin
Updated on 4 Januari 2013. Weekly temperature was 24° to 32°C. Article by Naimah C.L., Azahari M. Y. and Wan Nafizul W. M.