MANGLIYE LAT/MANGLIER LATTE/ (MANGLIER GROS POUMON) – Bruguiera gymnorhiza

HABIT
Small tree (10m) or shrub, with knee-like aerial roots. Much less common than Rhizophora (mangliye rouz), large knee-like aerial roots, large dark green leaves, smooth, shiny, leathery, calyx often reddish or dark red, broad root-like hypocotyl (20cm), green, smooth, blunt, leaf scars, many-lobed leathery calyx (petals fallen)

INTEREST
Not a pioneer species like Rhizophora; it is usually found in well-established mangrove in the muddy parts.

MANGLIYE PTI FEY/MANGLIER PETITES FEUILLES – Lumnitzera racemosa
HABIT

Small tree or shrub (to m) with rough bark. Small aerial roots. Found at the land ward edges of the mangrove (on higher land), or at the edges of freshwater marsh/rivers. Common on praslin, dull dark green leaves with slightly notched edges, somewhat fleshy, flower spike,5 white petals, calyx flattened, fruit shiny green flattened

INTEREST
The fruits float in water and may get washed up on nearby beaches. This mangrove tree prefers blackish water which is less salty.

MANGLIYE ZONN/MANGLIYE ZEROF/MANGLIER JAUNE or GIROFFLIER – Ceriops tagal

HABIT
Small tree, with lower trunk and roots spread out to form a pyramid. Sometimes knee-like roots present. Not common, smaller bright green leaves, smooth, leathery, opposite each other, fruit brown, rough, conical, small flowers, distinct ridges, narrow root-like hypocotyl, long (to 25 cm) green, pointed, calyx is left after petals drop

INTEREST
Found in well-established mangrove, mainly on river edges. The old fruit which is left hanging on the tree is used by some children as a whistle, worked by blowing across the yellow-green section.

MANGLIYE BLAN/MANGLIER BLANC – Avicenna marina

HABIT
Small tree (to 8m) with pale bark and slender, pencil-like roots sticking up out of the sand. By far the most common and widespread of the mangrove tree species on most of the granitic islands, light green leaves, underside is dull grey-green, fruit pale greyish green. Slightly furry and somewhat flattened, 5-lobed calyx, small orange/yellow flowers, bright green cotyledons, soon after the fruit falls it loses its skin leaving a naked embryo

INTEREST
Avicenna is a pioneer species in many of the new intertidal habits created by reclamation of land on the east coast of Mahe. It prefers shallow water and a more sandy substrate than other mangrove species. Large sands of Avicenna may be found, with few or no other species.

 

MANGLIYE FLER/MANGLIER FLEUR SONNERATIA – Sonneratia alba

HABIT
Small tree (to 15cm) tall thick conical respiratory roots, rounded, somewhat blue-green leaves, dull, leathery, numerous white stamens, flowers open at night, calyx with 6 to 8, dark pink inside calyx lobes

INTEREST
It is probable that fruit bats pollinate the flowers. Children use half-open buds to make earrings and the fruit can be made into a spinning top, usually with the calyx lobes removed.

MANGLIYE PONM/MANGLIYE PASYANS/MANGLIER POMME/PUZZLE NUT – Xylocarpusgranatum

HABIT
Spreading tree (up to 10m) with flaking bark and the base of the trunk forming flanges above ground. Found at the landward edge of the mangrove, bark flakes off, inflorescence with flowers in groups of 3 at right angles to each other, rounded tips, very large fruit, leaflets in 2s or 4s leathery, seeds are irregular shapes; each one is different, small flower with 4 cream-white petals; fragrant.

INTEREST
The names mangliye pasyans and puzzle-nut arise because the process of rearranging the irregularly shaped sphere into a sphere is like doing a 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzle and requires much patience! Reputed to be medicinal.

MANGLIYE ROUZ (MANGLIYE GRO POUMON)/MANGLIER HAUBAN/RED MANGROVE – Rhizophoramucronata

HABIT
Tree, up to 15m, with much-branched aerial roots. Common in many mangrove areas, especially those on smaller islands. Indigenous Extensive arched aerial prop roots, usually a tiny spike at the top, fruitbrown, rough, large dark green leaves, shiny, smooth, leathery, leafscars, root-like hypocotyl, long to (40cm) green, smooth, pointed

INTEREST
In the past, the bark was used for tanning leather as a red dye for wooden floors. Its ashes were sometimes used in soap making and the straight trunk was used for posts. Most of the trees used were brought to Mahe from Aldabra atoll. More details about dispersal are given in the text.