Avicennia officinalis L.
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
The wood, used to construct boats, houses, and wharves has been studied as a
pulp source, and the bark and roots are used for tanning. The bark is used for
dying cloth, the ash for washing it in India (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk 1962).
Javanese and others may consume the bitter fruits and seeds after rather
elaborate processing. Branches are lopped and given to cattle for fodder. The
wood has been recommended for creosoted paving blocks. Its wood is attractive
enough of grain to be useful in cabinetry.
According to Hartwell (19671971), the fruits are plastered onto tumors in
India. Indian mangrove is a folk remedy for boils and tumors (Duke and Wain,
1981). Kirtikar and Basu (1975) suggest that the roots are aphrodisiac.
Unripe seeds are poulticed onto abscesses, boils, and smallpox sores.
Indochinese use the bark for skin afflictions, especially scabies. According
to Perry (1980), quoting other sources, "A resinous substance exuded from the
bark acts as a contraceptive, and apparently can be taken all year long without
ill effects. Philippines use the seed for ulcers, the resin for snakebite."
Tanganyikan wood specimens (zero moisture basis) contained 54.7% cellulose,
2.3% ash (C.S.I.R., 19481976). The wood ash is said to be rich in alkali. A
green, bitter, medicinal resin oozes from the bark. Bark contains tannin and
lapachol (Perry, 1980), but the tannin content may be only 2.5% (C.S.I.R.,
Evergreen tree, sometimes to 25 m, trunk to 1 m in diameter. Numerous upright
pneumatophores rise above soil from long shallow, horizontal roots. Bark
brownish-gray, thin, becoming rough and blackish, or outer bark
yellowish-green and inner bark whitish. Leaves opposite obovate or broadly
oblong, 412 cm long, 26 cm wide, rounded at tip, acute or rounded at base,
thick, leathery, edges slightly rolled under, upper surfaces shiny green and
hairless, underneath with fine gray-green hairs and resin dots. Cymes headlike
in panicles, upright near ends of twigs, to 15 cm long and wide. Flowers many
212 together, sessile, malodorous, 710 mm long, 1215 mm across. Calyx
5-lobed, hairy on edges, with resin dots; corolla bell-shaped, tubular, yellow
or yellow-brown, turning orange, with 4 unequal spreading lobes, stamens 4,
inserted in notches of corolla tube; ovary conical, hairy, imperfectly 4-celled
with 4 ovules, style threadlike; stigma 2-forked. Capsule broadly ovoid,
flattened, 2.5 cm long. Seed 1, large, flattened, without seed coat,
germinating in water (Little, 1983).
Reported from the African, Australian, Hindustani, and Indonesian-Indochina
Centers of Diversity, Indian mangrove, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate
alkali, disease, insects, high pH, pest, salt, and waterlogging (NAS, 1980a;
Coasts of southern Asia to Australia and Oceania. From East Pakistan,
Tanasserim, Andaman Islands, and Sri Lanka through coasts of Vietnam, Thailand,
and Peninsular Malaysia to the Philippines, Sumatra, Madura, Java, Borneo,
Celebes, Sunda Islands, Molucca Islands, and New Guinea; south in Australia to
New South Wales. Near sea level, to 50 m in Papua. Not widely introduced
elsewhere (Little, 1983).
Estimated to range from Tropical Moist to Wet through Subtropical Moist to Wet
Forest Life Zones, Indian mangrove is estimated to tolerate annual
precipitation of 10 to 45 dm, annual temperature of 20 to 26°C, and pH of 6
to 8.5. Mostly on brackish or saline silts of depositing shores and marshes.
According to the NAS (1980a), planting is usually not needed because natural
regeneration is so successful. In Avicennia and
Rhizophora direct seeding result in ca 90% survival.
Since this mangrove can regrow rapidly from buds beneath the bark along the
trunk and branches, it is said to suffer little from removal of much of the
branchwood (NAS, 1980a).
Good mangrove stands can show annual productivity of 1020(-25) MT/ha/yr, but
for firewood purposes, I would reduce that to 1020(-25) m3/ha/yr,
figuring that at optimal rather than average. Because of the heaviness of the
wood, a cubic meter of mangrove is generally more valuable than other species.
Litterfall may account for 1/31/2 of aboveground productivity.
Brittle wood used for firewood.
No data uncovered.
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- C.S.I.R. (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research). 19481976. The wealth
of India. 11 vols. New Delhi.
- Duke, J.A. and Wain, K.K. 1981. Medicinal plants of the World. Computer index
with more than 85,000 entries. 3 vols. 1654 pp.
- Hartwell, J.L. 19671971. Plants used against cancer. A survey. Lloydia
- Kirtikar, K.R. and Basu, B.B. 1975. Indian Medicinal Plants. 4 vols. text, 4
vols. plates. 2nd ed., reprint. Jayyed Press. New Delhi 6.
- Little, Jr., E.L. 1983. Common fuelwood crops: A handbook for their
identification. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, WV. 354 pp.
- NAS. 1980a. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production. National Academy of Sciences. Washington.
- Perry, L.M. 1980. Medicinal plants of East and Southeast Asia. MIT Press.
- Watt, J.M. and Breyer-Brandwijk, M.G. 1962. The medicinal and poisonous plants
of southern and eastern Africa. 2nd ed. E.&S. Livingstone, Ltd., Edinburgh
Last update December 30, 1997