A field guide to Kenyan mangroves


Ceriops tagal (Perr.) C.B. Robinson 1908

Family: Rhizophoraceae

This mangrove tree grows from East Africa to the islands of the West-Central Pacific. In Kenya, Ceriops tagal occurs as a distinct zone, just landward of the Rhizophora mucronata zone. The trees in this zone exibit a certain degree of dwarf-growth, since their heights are usually not exceeding 4 meters. However, taller individuals (up to 8 meters) ocuur within the Rhizophora mucronata zone.

Obovate (broadest above the middle of the leaf), with a rounded apex, light green in color, lighter than Rhizophora mucronata and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza leaves.

Root system
The stem of Ceriops tagal is usually butressed. Furthermore in Kenya, pneumatophores of Ceriops tagal often develop as knee-roots (originating from a looping pneumatophore).

Flowers and fruit
Flowers are very small (<1 cm, usually 0.5 cm). Like all mangrove trees of the family Rhizophoraceae, Ceriops tagal is also viviparous. Propagules are slender and long, but can easily be recognized from the propagules of R. mucronata, which are fatter.


Tomlinson, P.B., 1986. The Botany of Mangroves. Cambridge University Press. Cambride Tropical Biology Series. 413 pp.

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all text and photographs copyrightę 2002-2016 David Gillikin and Anouk Verheyden
Created 28 August 2001

Updated June 24, 2016