Heritiera littoralis, the looking-glass
mangrove is a large tree with wing shaped nuts, which is most easily
recognised by the silvery scales on the underside of its leaves,
which therefore appear green from top and white from below, although
Litsea mellifera A.C. Smith (in the family Lauraceae), has the same
type of leaves.
Low, much branched, evergreen tree, to 15 m tall; bark pinkish gray,
smooth becoming flaky when older; leaf blades dark green above and
silvery white below, withering dull orange-yellow, oblong to
elliptic, leathery; flowers in hanging yellowish tassels; fruits
purple-brown, woody, shiny with a stiff keel on one side.
The hard and strong timber is valued for masts, when it can be got
straight enough. It is also used for canoes, firewood, house posts,
joists, pressers, telegraph poles, wheel-hubs and boat-ribs. An
extract of the seed can be used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery.