Sonneratia alba, commonly known as the white mangrove or milkwood mangrove, is a species of mangrove tree in the family Sonneratiaceae. It is found in coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific, including countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia.
Sonneratia alba is characterized by its medium-sized tree with a distinctive cone-shaped or pyramidal crown. It has glossy, elliptical leaves that are typically pale green on the upper surface and silvery-white on the underside. The tree produces small, fragrant white flowers that give rise to large, pear-shaped fruits containing propagules (seedlings) that develop while still attached to the parent tree.
White mangroves are well adapted to the saline conditions of coastal habitats. They are often found in the upper intertidal zones of mangrove forests, where they can tolerate both periodic inundation by tides and exposure to air during low tide.
Sonneratia alba plays an important role in mangrove ecosystems by providing habitat and shelter for various organisms, such as birds, crabs, and fishes. The tree also helps stabilize shorelines, protecting against erosion, and contributes to nutrient cycling.
In addition, certain parts of Sonneratia alba, such as the bark and leaves, have been used in traditional medicine for their potential medicinal properties. However, it is important to note that proper guidance and knowledge are necessary before using any plant for medicinal purposes.