White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa): All You Should Know

White Mangrove

The White Mangrove is a large shrub or medium-sized evergreen tree, scientifically known as Laguncularia racemosa.

It belongs to the family Combretaceae and is the only species in the Laguncularia genus.

This tree is commonly found in coastal areas of western Africa, the Atlantic Coast of the Americas, and the Pacific Coast of the Americas.

Where Does the White Mangrove Grow?

The White Mangrove grows in various regions, including:

  • Western Africa, from Senegal to Cameroon,
  • Atlantic Coast of the Americas, from Bermuda and Florida to the Bahamas, Mexico, the Caribbean, and south to Brazil,
  • Pacific Coast of the Americas, from Mexico to northwestern Peru, including the Gal√°pagos Islands.

These trees typically grow in coastal areas of bays, lagoons, and tidal creeks, usually inland of other mangroves and well above the high tide line.

What Are the Features of The White Mangrove?

Size and Shape

The White Mangrove grows to be 12 to 18 meters (39 to 59 feet) tall, with a short, crooked trunk and a narrow, rounded crown.

Bark

The bark of this tree is gray-brown or reddish, rough, and fissured.

Leaves

The leaves are opposite, elliptical, and 12 to 18 cm (4.7 to 7.1 in) long. They are slightly fleshy, leathery in texture, and yellow-green in color.

The petiole, or leafstalk, is stout, reddish, and 10 to 13 mm (0.39 to 0.51 in) long. It has two small glands near the blade that exude sugars.

Flowers

The white, bell-shaped flowers are mostly bisexual and about 5 mm (0.20 in) long. They bloom all year round, with a peak from spring to fall.

The flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.

Fruit

The fruit of the White Mangrove is a reddish-brown drupe, about 12 to 20 mm (0.47 to 0.79 in) long, with longitudinal ridges.

It contains a single seed, which is sometimes viviparous, or able to start growing before separating from the parent plant.

How Does the White Mangrove Benefit the Environment?

The White Mangrove is known for forming thickets with its many roots, which help bind the soil and control coastal erosion.

It’s exceptionally salt-tolerant, making it useful as a hedge in coastal sites, a windbreak, or to stabilize shorelines.

This tree is also resistant to hurricane winds, providing a natural barrier in the coastal areas where it grows.

How Do You Grow and Care for A White Mangrove?

Preferred Conditions

The White Mangrove performs best in full sun to part shade and moist to wet saline soils.

It grows best with some organic content and may struggle in nutrient-poor soils.

This tree is tolerant of frequent or regular inundation and can handle significant amounts of salty wind and salt spray without being damaged.

Pests and Diseases

There are no serious pest or disease issues known to affect the White Mangrove.

Propagation

To propagate the White Mangrove, you can use seeds from the tree.

Laguncularia racemosa Characteristics

Care Level:Expert
Growth Rate:Slow
Maximum Size:60′

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Myrtales
Family:Combretaceae
Genus:Laguncularia
Scientific Name:Laguncularia racemosa
Also Known As:White Mangrove
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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