The white mangrove, Laguncularia racemosa, is one of several species of trees known as mangroves that occur along coastlines worldwide. There are approximately 55 species of true mangroves in 20 genera (Hogarth 2007), and another 60 or more species of mangrove associates. Most species occur throughout the Indo-Pacific region. In the Indian River Lagoon, L. racemosa is one of three true species of mangroves commonly occurring along shorelines. The other two species are the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, and the black mangrove, Avicennia germinans.Laguncularia racemosa is a medium-sized tree or shrub, covered in thick, scaly bark, often reddish in color. The smooth, leathery leaves are up to 7 cm in length, opposite, with a silvery to yellow-green cast. Oval in shape and rounded at both apices, the leaves are often a distinguishing characteristic, differentiating L. racemosa from other mangrove species. White mangroves also exhibit unique glands called extra-floral nectaries found on either side of the stem at the leaf base. These structures excrete sugars which may attract ants that protect the plant from herbivorous insects (Hogarth 2007). Flowers are small and white, blooming at the leaf axils or branch tips. Fruits are about 2 cm in length, greenish with longitudinal ribs.
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