Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Family Avicenniaceae - emergent vegetation

Emergent vegetation; low, shrub-like (at least in Texas); found in high saline areas, usually in high tide zones (areas inundated at high tide); bush surrounded by numerous pencil-like aerial roots (called pneumatophores) projecting from the ground; leaves oblong, leathery, green, (sometimes whitish due salt crystals that are extruded from its pores), arranged oppositely on stems; underside of leaves hairy, with grayish tinge; flowers white, clustered on tips of stem; fruit is green, lima bean shaped, splits along its sides, contains one seed; the bark of the trunk is black (contains tannin), the inner bark is orange-red.
Similar Species
Unlike the red mangrove which has numerous above ground prop roots, the black mangrove has horizontal underground roots and aerial roots (the pneumatophores) which project upward from the ground. (It also has deeper roots which stabilizes the plant.) The numerous pneumatophores (up to 10,000 per bush) are the easiest way to identify a black mangrove..
Brackish and high saline areas in tidal zones
Maximum Size
Up to 20 m (65 ft) in warmer climates, in Texas only grows to a low shrub
Other Common Names
salt bush, honey mangrove
Previous Scientific Names
A. nitida
The black mangrove has adapted to the saline environment by pushing the extra salt out through pores in the leaves. Its numerous pneumatophores provide oxygen to its underground roots. The nectar from the flowers is used in the production of "mangrove honey".




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