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Rhizophora mangle L.
USDA Symbol: RHMA2
At maturity, this evergreen plant becomes a tangled mass of prop roots, aerial roots, branches and leaves. The brown, cylindrical fruits of these evergreen shrubs or trees are preceded by small, clustered, yellow-green, star-like flowers, with four leathery petals. The conspicuous prop roots growing down from the branches are usually the distinguishing characteristic of this mangrove which can grow to 30 ft. in height.
Mangroves do not propagate using ordinary means of dispersal. Rather, young plants begin to grow while still attached to the parent tree, developing into propagules that drop into the water and float along until an appropriate substrate is encountered. The germinating fruits of the Red Mangrove are quite spectacular: pendulous, torpedo-like seedlings dangling from the branches. The lima-bean–like pods of the Black Mangrove split almost immediately when the fruit falls. And though they are not as visible, the spongy-coated, ribbed fruits of the White Mangrove often sprout as soon as they are stranded in soil. Propagules of all three mangroves take root mainly in sheltered areas or on shorelines with relatively low wave energy, which can be found throughout much of the southwestern and southern parts of Florida.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
, HI Native Distribution:
S. & c. FL Native Habitat:
Shallow marine coastlines
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Wet Soil Description:
Wet, brackish soils. Conditions Comments:
Rhizophora mangle often forms impenetrable thickets on salt or brackish shores. Its flowers and fruit
occur most abundantly in late summer. The berry
germinates on the tree,
producing a 10-12 in. seedling that falls to the water and floats until it reaches water of suitable depth to establish its roots in the mud. With their tangle of vegetation, red mangroves are effective barriers to erosion.
PropagationDescription: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff