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Avicennia germinans

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(botany) A plant species of the family Acanthaceae, and is commonly known as the black mangrove


Mangrove in a broader sense refers to any tree, shrub, or vegetation that thrives in estuarine or saline habitat. In stricter sense though it pertains to the plant species of the genus Rhizophora, such as R. mangle and R. mucronata. A mangrove may also pertain to the habitat where these plants thrive. Avicennia germinans is one of the plant species considered as part of the mangrove. It is a shrub in the family of Acanthaceae (acanthus family). It is native to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Similar to other mangrove species, this plant is viviparous.

The black mangrove plant is able to withstand and survive a highly anaerobic habitat by forming pneumatophores. Pneumatophores are a type of aerial root. Aerial roots are roots that grow from above the ground and absorb water directly from the air. Pneumatophores are formed by certain plant species submerged in water, in waterlogged soil, or in strongly compacted soil. They emerge from the typical roots and then stick up out of the soil. The root surface of the pneumatophores is covered with lenticels, i.e. raised pores allowing gas exchange between the atmosphere and the internal tissues. The lenticels take up air into the spongy tissue of the pneumatophore. The oxygen is then spread throughout the plant.

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Acanthaceae
  • Genus: Avicennia
  • Species: A. germinans

Other common name(s):

  • black mangrove

See also: