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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Scyphiphora
Species: S. hydrophyllacea
Binomial name
Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea

Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea - common names: "chengam" (Singapore); "nilad" (Filipino) - is a shrub that is about 3 meters tall. It is often found in mangrove forests or sandy beaches. Its leaves are opposite. The leaf blades are broad and drop-shaped. Its terminal buds and young leaves are coated with a varnish-like substance. The flowers have four white lobes that are tinged in pink. They are arranged in dense clusters.

The fruits are elliptic and deeply ridged, becoming light brown and buoyant when ripe.

Its dark brown wood can be used to craft small objects. Leaf extracts are known to be helpful for stomach aches. The flowers can be used as a cleansing or whitening laundry agent.

Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, got its name from the nilad since the shores of Manila Bay that are teeming with this shrub. The place was called "Maynilad" which means "There is nilad".



Original Source

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