Avicennia marina generally takes the form of a multi-stemmed tree
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