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Rhizophoraceae Pers., nom. cons.
the mangrove family
The name of Rhizophora, the type genus, is derived from the Greek 'ριζοφορος (rhizophoros), root-bearing, referring to the stilt roots. The family is not confined to mangroves, although many mangroves are members. Mangroves are very important ecologically, as they form dense vegetation along the coast and in estuaries, protecting the land from erosion and the effects of tropical storms, and forming a breeding ground for many forms of marine life. Rhizophoraceae have opposite leaves and large stipules, and many have aerial roots. The petals of their flowers are often lobed and hairy. Seeds of the mangrove species germinate while still on the parent plant, and the long pointed propagule is very characteristic. Less specialized members of the family often have capsular fruits with arillate seeds.
Ceriops australis - Yellow Mangrove
Rhizophora stylosa - Red Mangrove
Photograph © Donald Simpson, 2007
Page last updated 29th March 2018