A field guide to Kenyan mangroves


Heritiera littoralis Dryand.

Family: Sterculaceae

Heritiera littoralis occurs from East Africa to Melanesia. In Kenya, individual trees occur sporadically on the terrestrial edge of the mangroves and do not form distinct zones. In Gazi, they are up to 8 m in height

Leaves of Heritiera littoralis are dark green on top and very white to silvery underneath, caused by the presence of epidermal scales. Leaves are large, typically 20 by 8cm.

Root system
Butresses on stem can develop into plank roots, but these are rarely well-developed on the trees in Kenya.

Fruits of H. littoralis can be recognized as an elliptical woody seed of about 6 cm long and 4 cm wide. Very characteristic is the "keel" on the seed.


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