RHIZOPHORACEAE (Mangrove Family)
The Red Mangrove has reddish-brown bark and dark green leathery leaves 5 to 15 centimeters (2 to 6 inches) long. The white to cream colored flowers are 1.6 to 2.4 cm (1/2 to 1 inch) in size, and produce a dark brown ovoid berry that is 3 cm long. The Red Mangrove blooms from March to November. Within the berry forms a viviparous seed that is spear-like and floats. The berry elongates 2 to 25 cm (3/4 to 10 inches) in length with the seed already germinated.
Range and Habitat
This is the most common mangrove in Baja California and is present in bays and estuaries from Laguna Abreojos south on the Pacific coast, and from Bahía de los Angeles south on the Gulf coast.
Strongly adapted to aquatic conditions, this shrub grows "with its feet in the water." Stilt roots support the plant above the water, and other roots extend up toward the surface and aid in aeration. The roots and stems of the plant can grow immediately on contact with soil. Red mangrove is a folk remedy for angina, asthma, boils, diarrhea, dysentery, eye ailments, fever, hemorrhage, inflammation, jaundice, leprosy, sores, sorethroat, and wounds.
Text by Bob Lauri and Judy Gibson
Red Mangroves at Ballandra Bay, Carmen Island photos by Reid Moran
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