State - Kerala, District/s: Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kollam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikkode, Kannur, Kasaragode"
Distribution in Egypt
Res Sea coastal strip.
Red Sea, Indian ocean shores.
Localities documented in Tropicos sources
South Africa (Africa & Madagascar)
Sri Lanka (Asia)
Madagascar (Africa & Madagascar)
Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
- Viguier, R. & H. Humbert. 1923. Plantes recoltees a Madagascar en 1912, IV. Bull. Soc. Linn. Normandie ser. 7, 6: 169–200. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/8935
- Arènes, J. 1954. Rhizophoracees. Fl. Madagasc. 150: 1–42. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1359
- Tulasne, L. R. 1856. Florae madagascariensis fragmenta. Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot. ser 4, 6: 75–138. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/8123
- Decary, R. 1926. La protection de la faune et de la flore a Madagascar. Rev. Hist. Nat. Appl. (Paris) 7(5): 148–166. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/26902
- Gibbs Russell, G. E., W. G. Welman, E. Reitief, K. L. Immelman, G. Germishuizen, B. J. Pienaar, M. v. Wyk & A. Nicholas. 1987. List of species of southern African plants. Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Africa 2(1–2): 1–152(pt. 1), 1–270(pt. 2). http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1371
- Rutenberg, C. 1880-1889. Reliquiae Rutenbergianae. Abh. Naturwiss. Vereine Bremen 7(1): 1–54; 7(2): 198–214; 7(3): 335–365; 9(4): 401–403; 10(3): 369–396. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/7755
- Flora of China Editorial Committee. 2007. Fl. China 13: 1–548. Science Press & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing & St. Louis. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1031194
- Blume, C. L. von. 1841. Stirpium exoticarum novarum vel mius cognitarum ex vivis aut siccis brevis expositio et descriptio, additis figuris. Mus. Bot. 1: 1–396. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/8547
Habitat and Ecology
In the eastern portion of its range, this species tends to grow closer to freshwater influences while in the western portion of its range it tends to grow closer to the seaward side. More genetic work is needed to determine if this may represent different species.
Habitat & Distribution
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Rhizophora mucronata
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Rhizophora mucronata
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
All mangrove ecosystems occur within mean sea level and high tidal elevations, and have distinct species zonations that are controlled by the elevation of the substrate relative to mean sea level. This is because of associated variation in frequency of elevation, salinity and wave action (Duke et al. 1998). With rise in sea-level, the habitat requirements of each species will be disrupted, and species zones will suffer mortality at their present locations and re-establish at higher elevations in areas that were previously landward zones (Ellison 2005). If sea-level rise is a continued trend over this century, then there will be continued mortality and re-establishment of species zones. However, species that are easily dispersed and fast growing/fast producing will cope better than those which are slower growing and slower to reproduce.
In addition, mangrove area is declining globally due to a number of localized threats. The main threat is habitat destruction and removal of mangrove areas. Reasons for removal include cleared for shrimp farms, agriculture, fish ponds, rice production and salt pans, and for the development of urban and industrial areas, road construction, coconut plantations, ports, airports, and tourist resorts. Other threats include pollution from sewage effluents, solid wastes, siltation, oil, and agricultural and urban runoff. Climate change is also thought to be a threat, particularly at the edges of a species range. Natural threats include cyclones, hurricane and tsunamis.
Rhizophora mucronata (loop-root mangrove, red mangrove or Asiatic mangrove Afrikaans: rooiwortelboom, Xhosa: isikhangathi, Zulu: umhlume) is a species of mangrove found on coasts and river banks in the Indo-Pacific region.
Rhizophora mucronata is a small to medium size evergreen tree growing to a height of about 20 to 25 metres (66 to 82 ft) on the banks of rivers. On the fringes of the sea 10 or 15 metres (33 or 49 ft) is a more typical height. The tallest trees are closest to the water and shorter trees are further inland. The tree has a large number of aerial stilt roots buttressing the trunk. The leaves are elliptical and usually about 12 centimetres (4.7 in) long and 6 centimetres (2.4 in) wide. They have elongated tips but these often break off. There are corky warts on the pale undersides of the leaves. The flowers develop in axillary clusters on the twigs. Each has a hard cream-coloured calyx with four sepals and four white, hairy petals. The seeds are viviparous and start to develop whilst still attached to the tree. The root begins to elongate and may reach a length of a metre (yard) or more. The propagule then becomes detached from the branch when sufficiently well developed to root in the mud below.
Distribution and habitat
Rhizophora mucronata is found in the Indo-Pacific region on the banks of rivers and on the edge of the sea. It is the only mangrove species to be found in East Africa. R. mucronata is native to Africa (in southeastern Egypt; eastern Ethiopia; eastern Kenya; Madagascar; Mauritius; Mozambique; the Seychelles; Somalia; eastern side of South Africa down to Nahoon the southern most mangrove forest in Africa; southeastern Sudan; and eastern Tanzania); Asia (in Burma; Cambodia; India; Indonesia; the Ryukyu Islands of Japan; Malaysia; Pakistan; Papua New Guinea; the Philippines; Sri Lanka; Taiwan; Thailand; and Vietnam) the South Pacific (in the Solomon Islands; and Vanuatu) and Australia (in northern Northern Territory; and northern Queensland).
The natural habitat of Rhizophora mucronata is estuaries, tidal creeks and flat coastal areas subject to daily tidal flooding. It seems to be more tolerant of inundation than other mangrove species and often forms an evergreen fringe to mangrove areas. It sometimes occurs as a pure stand or may grow with Rhizophora apiculata. The red mangrove is a protected tree in South Africa.
Rhizophora mucronata regenerates easily from seed but the seedlings are often damaged by crabs. The leaves are also eaten by crabs  and form part of the diet of the crab-eating macaque (Macaca irus). The tree is attacked by the beetle Poecilus fallax. In the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary near Cochin, India, it grows in association with the mangrove Avicennia officinalis, the golden leather fern (Acrostichum aureum) and the sea holly (Acanthus ilicifolius).
Rhizophora mucronata has multiple uses. It is used to help prevent coastal erosion and in restoration of mangrove habitats. The timber is used for firewood and in the construction of buildings, as poles and pilings, and in making fish traps. The fruits can be cooked and eaten or the juice extracted to make wine, and the young shoots can be consumed as a vegetable. The bark is used in tanning and a dye can be extracted from both bark and leaves. Various parts of the plant are used in folk medicine.
- Duke, N.; Kathiresan, K.; Salmo III, S.G.; Fernando, E.S.; Peras, J.R.; Sukardjo, S.; Miyagi, T. (2010). "Rhizophora mucronata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
- GRIN (March 1, 2006). "Rhizophora mucronata information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "Protected Trees". Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Republic of South Africa. 15 June 2013.
- Duke, James A. (1983). "Rhizophora mucronata Lam.". Handbook of Energy Crops. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
- Gillikin, David; Verheyden, Anouk (2005). "Rhizophora mucronata Lamk. 1804". A field guide to Kenyan mangroves. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- "Rhizophora mucronata". AgroForestryTree Database. World Agroforestry Centre. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- Wildlife Holidays India. "Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary". Retrieved 2012-10-08.