A field guide to Kenyan mangroves


Trees of the landward mangroves

see also the animals associated with this part of the forest

Avicennia marina

The above ground root system of Avicennia marina is characterized by upright pencillike pneumatophores which originate from an underground cable root. Leaves are thin, dark green above and light colored below. Salt crystals can often be seen on the underside of leaves. Often exhibits various degrees of dwarf-growth depending on the salinity and on the drainage of the site. Also occurs at the seaward side of the mangal.

Crabs found near A. marina (in this zone): Cardisoma carnifex, Neosarmatium meinerti, Sesarma (Chiromantes) ortmanni, Uca annulipes, Uca inversa

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 mid-forest zone. Leaves are thicker than A. marina, leaf edges are generally smooth and are rounded at the tip. Has long slender propagules.

Crabs found near C. tagal (in this zone): Neosarmatium meinerti,Sesarma (Chiromantes) ortmanni, Uca annulipes, Uca inversa

Lumnitzera racemosa

Lumnitzera racemosa grows on the terrestrial edge of the mangroves as a shrub more commonly than as a tree. Leaves of L. racemosa are succulent and small (up to 4cm length, 2cm width). The tip of the leaf has an indent. An obvious characteristic is the serrated edge of the leaf.

Crabs found near L. racemosa: Neosarmatium meinerti, Sesarma (Chiromantes) euilmene, Sesarma (Chiromantes) ortmanni, Uca annulipes, Uca inversa

Heritiera littoralis

Occurring sporadically on the terrestrial edge of the mangroves and not forming distinct zones. Leaves are dark green on top and very white to silvery underneath. The fruits are shwon in the picture.

Crabs found near H. littoralis: Cardisoma carnifex, Neosarmatium meinerti, Sesarma (Chiromantes) ortmanni and Sesarma (Chiromantes) euilmene

Xylocarpus granatum

Xylocarpus granatum ocuur sporadically over the forest, not grouped into a zone. Although known from literature as occuring on the landward side, some individuals in Kenya and Sri Lanka have been observed nearby the seaward side. Light green in color, with a rounded apex, and on average 10 cm long and 4 cm wide. Petiole of the leaf is short and corky.

Crabs found near X. granatum: Too sporatic to list, see other trees

Landward - Mid-forest- Seaside


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

Updated June 24, 2016