Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh

Last updated: 15 April 2015

Scientific Name

Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh.


Avicennia alba Blume, Avicennia intermedia Griff., Avicennia mindanaensis Elmer, Avicennia sphaerocarpa Stapf ex Ridl., Avicennia spicata Kuntze, Sceura marina Forssk. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Api-api puteh (Peninsular); api-api hitam (Sarawak) [2]; api-api berbulu [3]
Indonesia Ros-rosan (Javanese);[2]
Thailand Samae khao (Central); mae le, phephe le (Peninsular)[2]
Myanmar Lame [2]
Philippines Api-api puti (General) [2]
Vietnam m[aws]m tr[aws]ng [2]

Geographical Distributions

Avicennia marina is distributed along the coasts from western India and Sri Lanka to Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, Thailand, throughout the Malesian region (except for the northern Philippines), the Palau and Yap Islands and the Solomon Islands. [2]

Avicennia is a characteristic element of the outer mangrove fringe along the shore or tidal rivers. They are pioneers capable of rapidly colonizing new mud flats or sand banks in the tidal zone. Avicennia often occurs gregariously or in pure stands and is very tolerant of hypersaline conditions. [2]

Botanical Description

A. marina is a member of the family Acanthaceae [1]. It is a shrubs or small to medium-sized trees that can reach measures up to 30 m tall [2].

The bole is often crooked, branchless for measures up to 5(-10) m, measuring up to 60(-160) cm in diametre, without buttresses but often with small aerial roots and with numerous thin pneumatophores. The bark surface is smooth to shallowly fissured, lenticellate, occasionally flaky, grey or reddish-brown while the inner bark is whitish and produces a little resin. The twigs are usually swollen towards the nodes. [2]

The leaves are decussate, simple, entire, slightly fleshy, usually greyish below and exstipulate. [2]

The inflorescence is terminal or axillary, spicate or capitate. The flowers are sessile and bisexual. The 5-lobed sepal is enclosed by a bract and 2 bracteoles. The petal is an actinomorphic or slightly zygomorphic, bell-shaped, with 4(-6)-lobed and yellow or orange-yellow. There are 4(-6) stamens that alternate with the petal lobes and inserted basally or at the petal throat. The ovary is superior, 1-locular with 4 ovules in 4 imperfect chambers while the stigma is 2-lobed. [2]

The fruit is a 2-valved nut, leathery, often beaked, viviparous and splits upon growth of the cotyledons. [2]

The seed is one. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The cotyledons are emergent where the outer is 2-lobed to emarginated while the inner ones are rounded. The radicle is with hairs that develop into secondary roots. The hypocotyl is elongated. All leaves are arranged opposite. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. marina (Forssk.) Vierh.[2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Apr 15]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-18454
  2. Sosef MSM, Hong LT, Prawirohatmodjo S, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5 (3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 1998.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.92.