Taxonomy

Kingdom : Plantae
Phylum : Magnoliophyta
Class : Equisetopsida
Order : Malpighiales
Genus : Sonneratia
Species : apetala
Author : Buch.-Ham.

Description

Trees up to 30 m tall, crown large, branches many, drooping, bark thin, light-brown, irregularly fissured; buttresses not prominent; pneumatophores 60-150 cm long, arising from horizontal roots, corky, forked twice or thrice, associated with anchor roots and nutrition roots. Leaves 4-10 x 2-3 cm, thick, narrowly elliptic-oblong, tapering towards apex, attenuated at base. Flowers 1.5-2 cm across, apetalous, cream colored, arranged in axillary, 3 flowered dichasial or 7 flowered cymes from the branch axils; calyx 4-merous, reflexed; petals absent; stamens many; stigma large, umbrella shaped. Fruit 2-2.5 cm across, a globose berry seated on the flattened calyx-tube, many seeded and shortly pointed at apex. Flowers in solitary or dichasia cymes.
Flowering and fruiting form March-July, June-October (West Bengal), April-July (Orissa), March-July (Andhra Pradesh), August-December (Tamil Nadu).
Gregarious, often as a pioneer species on newly formed mudflats. The species is easily identified from the other two species of the genus by its narrowly elliptic leaves, apetalous flowers, 4-merous calyx and large umbrella-shaped stigma.