Laguncularia racemosa (L.) Gaertn. f.
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
Branchlets are browsed by camels in Africa (Irvine, 1961). The hard heavy wood
is used for carpentry, construction, posts and tool handles. The bark is used
for tanning and for dying fishermen's nets. Considered a honey plant (Duke,
Reported to be astringent and tonic, white mangrove is a folk remedy for
dysentery (Duke and Wain, 1981), Hager's Handbook mentions that the bark is
used for aphthae, fever, and scurvy (List and Horhammer, l9691979). "The
antitumor activity of the bark extract is attributed to its tannin content"
Bark contains 10.3% tannin, gall's 10.7%, leaves 16.8%. Irvine (1961) puts the
bark tannin at 1224%, dry leaf tannin at 10 20%. According to Hager's
Handbook, (List and Horhammer, 19691979), the bark contains maclurin
Evergreen tree to 12 m tall and 30 cm diameter, with rounded or irregular
spreading crown. Bark gray-brown, becoming rough and fissured; inner bark
light brown. Pneumatophores often present. Leaves Opposite, elliptical, 410
cm long, 2.55 cm wide, rounded at both ends, entire, glabrous, leathery,
slightly fleshy, without visible veins. Petiole 1013 mm long, stout, reddish,
with 2 raised gland-dots near blade. Panicles at ends and sides of twigs,
mostly branched and spreading, 310 cm long. Flowers mostly bisexual ca 5 mm
long, bell-shaped, whitish. Petals, 5, rounded, whitish, 1 mm long, and
stamens, 10. Pistil with inferior 1-celled ovary with 2 ovules, slender style,
and tiny 2-lobed stigma. Drupes several, stalkless, obovoid, 1220 mm long,
flattened, ridged, gray-green with velvety hairs when immature, turning
brownish, Seed 1, large, sometimes viviparous (Little, 1983).
Reported from the African and American Centers of Diversity, white mangrove, or
cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate diseases, insects, pests, salt, and
waterlogging (Little, 1983; NAS, 1980a).
Both coasts of tropical America, northern Mexico to Brazil and Ecuador,
Galapagos Island's and northwestern Peru. West Indies, Bermuda, southern and
central Florida. Western Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. Not widely
introduced elsewhere (Little, 1983).
Ranging from Tropical Dry to Rain through Subtropical Dry to Rain Forest Life
Zones, white mangrove is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 10.4 to
23.4 dm (mean of 6 cases = 18.0), annual temperature of 24.9 to 26.4°C (mean
of 5 cases = 25.7), and estimated pH of 6 to 8.5. Surely it tolerates rainfall
up to 80 dm and annual temperature down to 18°C, without frost. Usually in
well-drained brackish or saline soils along shores of lagoons and tidal rivers
According to the NAS (1980a) planting is usually not needed because natural
regeneration is so successful. In Avicennia and Rhizophora direct seeding
results in ca 90% survival.
May flower and fruit precociously (less than 2 years old). Harvested for fuel
as needed. After cutting, there may be a multistemmed coppice.
It is stated that Brazilian tanneries use a million and a half kilos of
mangrove leaves (e.g. Laguncularia racemosa) annually (Morton, 1965).
The wood, moderately hard and heavy (sp. grav. 0.6), is used for fuel and
charcoal (Morton, 1981).
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- Duke, J.A. 1972. Isthmian ethnobotanical dictionary. Publ. by the author.
Harrod & Co., Baltimore.
- Duke, J.A. and Wain, K.K. 1981. Medicinal plants of the world. Computer index
with more than 85,000 entries. 3 vols.
- Irvine, F.R. 1961. Woody plants of Ghana. Oxford University Press, London.
- List, P.H. and Horhammer, L. 19691979. Hager's handbuch der pharmazeutischen
praxis. vols 26. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
- Little, E.L. Jr. 1983. Common fuelwood crops: a handbook for their
identification. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, WV.
- Morton, J.F. 1965. Can the red mangrove provide food, feed, and fertilizer.
Econ. Bot. 19:113123
- Morton, J.F. 1981. Atlas of medicinal plants of middle America. Bahamas to
Yucatan. C.C. Thomas, Springfield, IL.
- N.A.S. 1980a. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production.
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.
Last update Wednesday, January 7, 1998 by aw