Rhizophora mucronata, commonly known as the red mangrove or Asiatic mangrove, is a species of mangrove tree that belongs to the family Rhizophoraceae. It is found in coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific, including countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia.
Rhizophora mucronata is characterized by its stilt-like prop roots that provide stability in soft, muddy substrates. The tree can grow up to 25 meters in height and has leathery, elliptical leaves with pointed tips. It produces small, white or yellowish flowers and propagules (seedlings) that develop while still attached to the parent tree.
Red mangroves are well adapted to saline environments and can tolerate tidal fluctuations and waterlogged soils. They play a significant role in coastal ecosystems, providing habitat and protection for various marine and terrestrial organisms. The prop roots of Rhizophora mucronata also act as important nursery areas for fish and other aquatic species.
Furthermore, the roots, bark, and leaves of Rhizophora mucronata have traditional uses in some cultures for medicinal purposes, such as treating ailments like dysentery and diarrhea.
Overall, Rhizophora mucronata is an ecologically important mangrove species that contributes to shoreline stabilization, biodiversity, and nutrient cycling in coastal environments.