Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea, commonly known as the mangrove apple or red mangrove apple, is a species of small shrub or tree that belongs to the family Rubiaceae. It is found in coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific, including countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia.
Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea is characterized by its small size, typically growing up to 2-4 meters in height. It has opposite, leathery leaves with prominent veins and a glossy appearance. The flowers are small and white, while the fruit is a rounded, fleshy structure that turns red when ripe.
This mangrove species is typically found in the intertidal zones of mangrove forests, often growing near the edges of water bodies or in areas with brackish water. It is well adapted to the saline and waterlogged conditions of mangrove habitats.
Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea provides habitat and food for various organisms in mangrove ecosystems. The fruit is consumed by birds and other wildlife, while the dense foliage offers shelter and nesting sites. The plant also plays a role in stabilizing shorelines and preventing soil erosion.
Additionally, in some traditional practices, the bark, leaves, and roots of Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea have been used for medicinal purposes, such as treating skin ailments and fevers.
Overall, Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea is an important component of mangrove ecosystems, contributing to biodiversity, shoreline protection, and traditional uses in certain cultures.