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Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove)

Red mangrove trees produce thickets of submerged stilt roots which form an important habitat for a variety of marine life, especially young fish.
Rhizophora mangle stilt roots in Kew's Princess of Wales Conservatory

Rhizophora mangle stilt roots in Kew's Princess of Wales Conservatory

Species information

Scientific name: 

Rhizophora mangle L.

Common name: 

red mangrove (most widely used English name), American mangrove

Conservation status: 

Currently categorized as of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Tropical and subtropical coastlines, riverine estuaries and brackish water; tolerates permanent submersion and seasonal flooding and grows poorly in dry (arid) regions.

Key Uses: 

Timber, charcoal, medicine, coastal erosion control, nursery grounds for fish.

Known hazards: 

None known (although advisable not to get entangled in the roots!)


Genus: Rhizophora

About this species

Rhizophora mangle is one of the most prominent members of a group of evergreen trees and shrubs that colonize tropical and subtropical coastlines, forming intertidal forests and thickets. These particular trees and shrubs are generally known as mangroves, and this unique ecosystem, adapted to coping with muddy, waterlogged soils of varying salinity, is called ‘mangal’. In its natural range, from West Africa to the Pacific coast of tropical America, red mangroves often grow alongside white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and, at more landward, brackish water locations, buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). 


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