Alternative names: Not Applicable
Shrubs or trees of sea coasts, with pneumatophores (erect root ends adapted for growing in submerged areas); branches and branchlets commonly terete, prominently nodose and articulate; leaves opposite, decussate, persistent, petiolate, simple, exstipulate, entire.
Inflorescence axillary or terminal, determinate and cymose, spicate or subspicate, often abbreviated to appear capitate or subcapitate, the axillary inflorescences mostly paired; flowers sessile, hypogynous; calyx of 5 free sepals, the free portion ovate and imbricate, mostly unchanged in fruit, subtended by a pseudo-involucre composed of a scale-like bract and 2 alternate bracteoles; corolla actinomorphic, tubular at the base, campanulate-rotate, 4-parted; stamens 4, inserted in the throat of the corolla tube, equal or in subequal pairs, exserted during anthesis; gynoecium bicarpellary, syncarpous; ovary superior, sessile, compound but with a free central and often more or less 4-winged placenta; ovules 4, orthotropous, pendent from the apex of the central axis.
Fruit a compressed oblique capsule, with a juicy and somewhat fleshy usually tomentellous exocarp, dehiscent by 2 valves, usually 1-seeded by abortion; seeds non-endospermic, without a testa; embryo viviparous or semiviviparous; cotyledons 2, folded lengthwise.
1 genus Avicennia and about 12 species inhabiting the sea coasts of the tropics and subtropics of the world.
Prepared by A. A. Munir