Rhizophora mangle – Red Mangrove

Rhizophora mangle - Red Mangrove, American Mangrove

Rhizophora mangle - Red Mangrove, American Mangrove (flowers)

Rhizophora mangle - Red Mangrove, American Mangrove (sprouted fruit seedlings)

Rhizophora mangle - Red Mangrove, American Mangrove (roots)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Rhizophora mangle

Common Names: Red Mangrove, American Mangrove

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Evergreen

Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized weedy plant is native to the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and tropical America.

Flower Color: Yellow

Height: Up to 30 feet (9 m) tall or more in favored locations, but typically less here

Description: The flowers are small, shaggy-haired, and have 4 fleshy, narrow, point-tipped petals. The flowers are followed by brown, egg-shaped, single-seeded fruits that sprout while still on the tree. The sprouted seedlings each have a stout, up to 10 inch (25 cm) long, green to brown, point-tipped root. If these seedlings fall from the tree into the soil, the roots can stab into the soil and plant the seedling. However, if the seedlings fall into the sea, they can float away, sometimes traveling for months until they encounter land where they can grow. The leaves have a prominent paler midrib and are stiff, leathery, dark green above, paler green below, opposite, petiolate, and elliptical in shape. The plants have arching, above ground stilt roots or prop roots that help anchor and elevate them.

These thicket-forming plants grow in brackish and salt water intertidal zones in flat, wave-protected coastal areas.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Rhizophorales
Family: Rhizophoraceae – Red Mangrove family
Genus: Rhizophora L. – mangrove
Species: Rhizophora mangle L. – red mangrove

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map