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Tropical Seashores  : Mangrove

Avicennia marina Grey mangrove Api-api jambu Acanthaceae

 

Avicennia-marina, Grey mangrove, api api jambu

 

Avicennia marina

Avicennia-marina, Grey mangrove, api api jambu

Avicennia marina generally takes the form of a multi-stemmed tree between 4
and 10 metres high, however in some areas these trees can reach 25 metres. Avicennia is
found in varied environments, including the upper tidal limit of estuaries, salt flats and along the seaward margin.
Another distinguishable feature of this tree is the pencil like pneumatophores which protrude upwards through the mud from
lateral roots below. These assist with the aeration of the plant.

The bark of the Avicennia is generally apale white to grey/green. The flowers of Avicennia are small and orange generally occurring between October and January.
The fruiting period is between January and February. The fruit are small, green, dish-like capsules .
The leaves are elongated (up to 12cm), with a shiny upper surface and pale grey coloured underside (it is this colour which accounts for the common name). This species has salt secreting glands on the leaves. Avicennia fruit can be eaten after extensive preparation, including soaking and cooking. Leaves and shoots are used for medicinal purposes. Correct preparation enables the treatment of cuts and marine
stings .

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