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Mangroves of Andhra Pradesh - Identification

and Conservation Manual

Mangroves are diverse group of salt tolerant plants growing in
the inter-tidal estuarine zones above the mean sea level of sheltered
coastal environments. The habitat of mangroves is often referred
to as mangrove forest or tidal forest. These plants are constantly
subjected to tidal flushing with the ability to live in salt water.
Pneumatophores, supporting stilt roots and buttresses, salt excreting
glands in the leaves and viviparous propagules are some of the
several highly specialized and collectively well-known adaptations
of this group. The advantage of the mangroves growing in a saline
environment is the lack of other competiting plant elements. A limited
number of plants alone have evolved adapting to such inter tidal

The first line of detense for many mangroves is to prevent the salt
from entering the palnt by filtering it out at root level. Rhizophora,
Ceriops and Bruguiera exclude (salt-excluders) more than 90
percent of slat in seawaters. Another method of excreting salt, which
enters into the system is through salt secretion. Avicennia,
Sonneratia and Acanthus have special salt glands, which are among
the most active salt-secreting systems known. It is quite possible
to see the salt crusts on the leaf surfaces of the above species. A
third method of coping with excess salt is to concentrate it in the

bark or in older leaves. Lumnitzera, Avicennia, Ceriops and

Sonneratia eliminate the salt by shedding them. Mangroves use
one of these methods for excluding the salts but many use two or
more. In addition, a number of xerophytic characteristics also help
prevent water loss from the plant. These include thick waxy cuticle,
dense haris below the leaf surface and sunken stomata. Leaves are
also commonly succulent. Storing water in fleshy internal tissue.

The roots of the mangroves have different functions. Apart from

the radiating roots and anchoring roots, some mangroves have part
of their roots above the mud with special breathing cells called
lenticels, which draw in air. Different species have developed
different ways of keeping their roots in the air. Stilt roots
particularly in Rhizophora spread far and wide, providing numerous
anchors for the tree as well as a large surface area for oxygen
absorbing lenticels. Avicennia trees have pencil like roots and
Sonneratia have pet like structures known pneumatophores.
The mangroves also produce viviparous seedlings.
The richest mangrove communities occur in tropical and sub
tropical areas where the water temperature is greater than 240C in
the warmest month, where the annual rainfall exceeds 1250 mm.
The mangroves need protection from high-energy waves, which
can erode the shore and prevent seedlings establishment. In the
Godavari mangroves, 18 km length of the sand spit protect the

mangroves from the high-energy sea waves. Shallow, gently

shelving shores allow mangrove seedlings to anchor, particularly
in estuaries, rivers and bays. The East coast when compared to the
West coast is shallow and the shore is gently shelving with
numerous estuaries. Hence the development of mangroves in the
East coast is more than that of the West coast. The area of the
mangrove wetlands in India has been estimated. Variously from
6,81,000 ha. by Sidhu (1963) to 5,00,000 ha. by the Forest Survey
of India (1998).
Global Mangroves
Globally mangorves are distributed across the tropical and
subtropical forests and are predominantly found in tropical region
(Fig.1). Asia and Australia have the greatest diversity and
distribution of mangrove species in the world. Out of 18 million
hectares of mangrove forests, more than 40% are found along the
Asian coasts (Table 1). Largest mangrove formations are found in
Indonesia, Brazil and Sundarbans of India and Bangladesh. The
mangroves of the world can be mainly divided into eastern and
western groups. Eastern group covers the region from west and
central pacific to the southern end of Africa. Western group covers
the regions American and African coasts of Atlantic Ocean, the
Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico or the west coast of Africa and
coastal regions of North and South America. The Eastern group
has five times more number of species than the Western group
(Table 2).

Fig. 1. Global distribution of mangroves (Spalding et al. 1997)


Table 1 : Mangrove areas under different regions

World Mangrove Atlas


Fisher and Spalding




South and
South east Asia














The America







West Africa













East Africa and

Middle East



(Source: World Mangrove Atlas, Spalding et al., 1997)








Sri Lanka


India East

India West

China and Taiwan



Bruguiera sexangula

Hong Kong

Acanthus ebracteatus
Acanthus ilicifolius
Acrostichum aureum
Acrostichum speciosum
Aegialitis annulata
Aegialitis rotundifolia
Aegiceras corniculatum
Aegiceras floridum
Avicennia alba
Avicennia marina
Avicennia officinalis
Avicennia rumphiana
Bruguiera cylindrica
Bruguiera exaristata
Bruguiera gymnorrhiza
Bruguiera hainesii
Bruguiera parviflora

Brunei Darussalam


Table 2 : Mangrove species list for South and South east Asia

Sonneratia alba
Sonneratia apetala
Sonneratia caseolaris
Sonneratia griffithii
Sonneratia lanceolata
Sonneratia ovata
Sonneratia x gulngai
Sonneratia x urama
Xylocarpus granatum
Xylocarpus mekogensis

Sri Lanka








Hong Kong




China and Taiwan


India East

India West

Brunei Darussalam

Camptostemon schulzii
Ceriops decandra
Ceriops tagal
Cynometra iripa
Excoecaria agallocha
Excoecaria indica
Heritiera fomes
Heritiera globosa
Heritiera littoralis
Kandelia candel
Lumnitzera littorea
Lumnitzera racemosa
Lumnitzera x rosea
Nypa fruticans
Osbornia octodonta
Pemphis acidula
Rhizophora apiculata
Rhizophora mucronata
Rhizophora stylosa
Rhizophora x lamarckii

Ex = Extinct in that country

Source: Spalding 1997.

Mangroves of India
The major mangrove wetlands of India are located along the East
Coast (Tables 3 and 4) where as it is predominantly distributed in
Gujarat in the West Coast (Table 5). Along the East coast the tidal
amplitude as well as the volume and periodicity offresh water inflow
decreases from Sundarbans in the north to Muthupet mangroves
located in the southern most end. Correspondingly the species
diversity and area of mangrove wetlands also decreases from north
to south indicating the influence of fresh water inflow and tidal
amplitude on the health and wealth of mangrove wetlands as shown
in Table 3.
Table 3. Tidal amplitude, freshwater inflow and species diversity
of mangrove wetlands along the east coast
amplitude (m) inflow

Mangrove area

Area (ha) diversity

Sundarbans -West Bengal 4 to 6




Bhitarkanika - Orissa

2 to 4

July to January



Mahanadi - Orissa

2 to 4

July to January



Godavari - Andhra Pradesh 1.5 to 2

July to November 33200


Krishna - Andhra Pradesh 1.5 to 2

July to November 24999.4 7 14

Piehavaram and Muthupet 0.20 to 0.50

October to

Tamil Nadu




Table 4. Area of Mangrove forest of the East Coast of India in Hectate


Long! Lat

Forest Survey of
India - 1998 (ha.)


79 45'! II 25'
79 37'! 10 14'
80 53'! 15 43'
82 22'! 15 43'
86 41 ! 20 28
86 52'! 20 49'


MSSRF Data (ha.)

528 (IRS LIS 111- 2002)

1867 (IRS LIS 111- 1996)
9500 (IRS LIS III - 2001)
17000 (IRS LIS [!J - 200 I)
3200 (IRS LIS 1Il- 2002)
14200 (IRS LIS lll- 2002)

Table 5 : Location wise Area of Mangrove vegetation in coastal

states of India



Andaman and Nicobar

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh


West Bengal
Andaman and Nicobar

Devi mouth
Gulf of Kutchch
Gulf of Kambat


Area in

Mangroves of Andhra Pradesh

The State of Andhra Pradesh has a geographical area of 2,76,000
out of which an area of 63,770 is under forests, which accounts
to 23% of the geographical area. Out of 63,770 of forests only
582 are under the magnrove forests, which accounts 0.9% of the
total forest area of the state. Andhra Pradesh has the geographical advantage of having most of the east flowing rivers in the heart of the
state bringing in copious supplies of sediments from the Western and
Eastern Ghats and Deccan Plateau up to the coast. The major, medium
and minor rivers, which flow through the state, are about 40. Out of
these, the most important rivers are (1) The Godavari (2) The Krishna
(3) The Pennar and (4) The Vamsadhara. The majority of the mangroves are present in the estuaries of these rivers. The Godavari mangroves are located in the Godavari estuary in the East Godavari district.
Krishna mangroves are located in the Krishna estuary of Krishna and
Guntur districts. Apart from these estuaries, mangroves are also found
in small patches in the coasts of Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Guntur
and Prakasam districts.

The region falls under the category of tropical humid climate
with the monsoon season commencing from June and extending
up to December. The rainfall of Andhra Pradesh is influenced by
Southwest and Northeast monsoons. The mean rainfall of the
state is 925 mm. Major quantity (68.5%) of rainfall is contributed
by the Southwest monsoon (June-Sept) followed by Northeast
monsoon (Oct.-Dec. 22.3%). The rest (9.2%) of the rainfall is
received during the winter and summer months. The influence
of southwest monsoon is predominant in coastal Andhra Pradesh
with a mean of 602.26 mm. and the Northeast monsoon provides
a mean rainfall of 316.8 mm. In the East Godavari district, the
average total rainfall is about 1160 mm. This area receives
copious supply of freshwater during the southwest and northeast
monsoons. During this period, the salinity is very low (< 5 ppt).
From January, the weather is mainly dry and progresses gradually
to the hot summer months of March to May. The average
maximum and minimum temperatures recorded are 32.36 and
24.40 C.
Catchment areas of Godavari and Krishna
River Godavari is the largest in South India with a total catchment
area of3,14,685 Godavari originates at Triambakam near
Nasik in Maharashtra in the Western Ghats and flows for 692 km.
before entering Andhra Pradesh in Adilabad district. Almost two
thirds of the catchment of the Godavari f1ows into Bay of Bengal
after traversing a total length of 1,446 km. Of the total catchment
area, 23.62% lies in Andhra Pradesh. It flows through the Eastern
Ghats at Po1avaram in West Godavari district. In 1852, a barrage
was constructed at Dowleswaram near Rajahmundry in East
Godavari, where it gets divided into Gautami and Vasishta Rivers
and finally confluences in the Bay of Bengal. The Vasista Godavari
again gets bifurcated into Vasista and Vainateya Godavari. The
Godavari delta is formed across these rivers. The barrage water is

used for irrigating nearly 410,000 ha. in both East and West
Godavari Districts. In Andhra Pradesh, Godavari f10ws through
Adi1abad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, East
Godavari and West Godavari districts. It is fed by number of
tributaries and important among them are Pranahita, the Penganga,
Wardha, Waiganga, Kinnerasani, Manjira, Sabari and Indravati.
Much of the water in Godavari is contributed by Pranahita (40%),
followed by Indravati (20%), Sabari (10%) and Manjira (6%).
The Gautami Godavari joins the Bay of Bengal at two places, one
near Bhairavapalem and the other near Kothapalem. The Gautami
Godavari is connected to the Kakinada bay by two major canals
namely the Corangi, which arises at Yanam and Gaderu canal,
which has its origin at Bhairavapalem. There are numerous other
small canals namely Chollangi creek and Matlapalem canal which
feed the mangrove areas and eventually flow into the Kakinada
River Krishna starts from Mahabaleshwar in the Western Ghats
(Maharashtra State) and runs in the southern direction to a length
of about 1401 kms. It flows for about 780 km. from Mahabaleshwar
in Maharashtra before it enters Andhra Pradesh. Its most important
tributary is the Tungabhadra River, which itself is formed by the
Tunga and Bhadra rivers that originate in the Western Ghats. Other
tributaries include the Koyna, Bhima, Mallaprabha, Ghataprabha,
Verla, Warna, Dindi, Musi and Dudhganga rivers. The catchment
area of the river is 2,58,818 of which 29.45% is in Andhra
Past management practices
Before the constitution of mangroves into forest blocks, most of
the mangrove areas in East Godavari were under the control of
private estate owners till Estate Abolition Act came into force.
The Forest department since 1933 systematically on a rotation basis
of 25 years has worked Coringa and Coringa Extension reserves

in Kakinada in the Godavari estuary. Similarly, the Krishna

mangroves were also worked on a 25 years rotation since early
1930s. The owners heavily exploited the estate forests, and goat
browsing and lopping of trees further degraded them. Removal of
mangroves for fuel by the many fishing villages around these forests
also degraded the forest to certain extent. As per the data from the
digitized maps of Survey ofIndia, the Godavari mangroves occupy
an area of about 33,150 hectares in the deltaic region of the Godavari
River. Of this, healthy mangroves occupy an area of 12,464 ha.,
degraded mangroves occupy 4,195 ha. and the rest are mudflats,
water bodies, sand and Casuarina plantation.
Present management practices
After starting implementing the World Bank funded Forestry
Project, the Forest department formed Eco-Development Committees (EDC) and Vana Samrakshana Samithis (VSS) in Mangrove
areas for joint implementation ofthe project. The entire Coringa
Wildlife Sanctuary has been protected by the 20 EDCs. Similarly
in Krishna, 7 EDCs were functioning. These Village Level Institutions (VLIs) were provided management area for protection and
conservation. The five village institutions in Godavari and three
VLIs in Krishna where the project activities are jointly implemented
by the Forest department, MSSRF and Community. Trainings were
provided for sustainable mangrove conservation and management
through participatory approaches.
Area of Study
Godavari Mangroves
The Godavari mangroves are located in the Godavari estuary in
the East Godavari district, between 16 39' - 17 Nand 82 14' 82 23' E. The total area ofthe wetland according to the Forest
department, Government of Andhra Pradesh is 316 sq. km. in which
235.7 is under Coringa wildlife sanctuary (Rajesh Mitta1,
1993). Sidhu (1963) and Vma Maheswara Rao and Narasimha Rao

(1988) reported the extent of mangroves as 33,260 ha. Subba Reddi

(1982) reported the extent of Godavari mangroves as only 6,000
ha. The Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary has 3 Reserved Forests namely
Corangi R.F., Corangi Extn. R.F. and Bhairavapalem R.F. Most of
the mangroves in the sanctuary are not directly connected with the
Bay of Bengal. The mangroves of Coringa Wild Life sanctuary
receive tidal flushing through Matlapalem canal, Corangi River
and Gaderu River. The Gaderu and Corangi rivers are tributaries
of the Godavari. The other 6 Reserved Forests (R.F) namely
Rathikalava, Masanitippa, Matlatippa, Balusutippa, Kothapalem
and Kandikuppa R.F are situated on the southern side of Nilarevu
River that falls under non-sanctuary area. (Fig. 2).
Aquaculture tanks (Shrimp farms) are located very close to the
mangrove forests. Revenue and private lands abutting the
mangroves are converted into shrimp tanks. Coconut groves and
paddy cultivation are the important agricultural practices of this
area. Some of the areas are under salt production in both Krishna
and Godavari deltas. The saltpans are found in the out skirts of
Kakinada near Chollangi and near Balusutippa. Casuarina
plantations were raised by the Forest department along the Hope
Island and along the shore near Masanitippa and Kandikuppa R.F.
and near Sacramento Lighthouse.
Vegetation types
Dense Mangroves: Areas close to the sea especially the areas found
near Corangi and Gaderu river mouths are characteristic of dense
vegetation because of daily inundation. This area supports
Avicennia alba and Sonneratia apetala. Rhizophora apiculata,
Ceriops decandra, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Excoecaria agallocha
and Xylocarpus moluccensis are present in the middle zone.
Towards the landward area mostly Excoecaria agallocha, Avicennia
marina and A. officinalis occur.

Fig. 1. Godavari Mangroves


Sparse Mangroves: Occasionally inundating areas support species

like Excoecaria agallocha and Lumnitzera racemosa and generally
they are of short stature. Suaeda maritima, S. nudiflora and
Aeluropus lagopoides are common in this area.
Casuarina Plantations: The Casuarina plantations raised by the
Forest Department along the coast are seen in the Hope Island,
along the shore near Masanitippa and in Kandikuppa R.F. near
Sacramento lighthouse.
Invasion by Prosopis : The high tidal mud flats where inundation
is rare, the invasion of Prosopis can be seen. Invasion could also
be seen even near the river mouth.
Vegetation survey Methodology
The sampling plots were laid 500 m apart (10 m x 10m) in the
areas near Matlapalem, Dindu and 1 k.m interval (20 m x 20 m) in
the remaining areas. The quadrets were laid using nylon ropes
marked with 10m intervals. The species available inside the
quadrets were enumerated. The plant species collected were
identified with the help of floras namely Flora of The Presidency
of Madras by Gamble (1915-1938), the Flora of The Presidency
of Bombay by Cooke (1967) and Mangroves in India Identification Manual by Banerjee et al. (1989). Photographs of
different zonations, and individual species were taken. Voucher
specimens for all the species were collected and herbarium is
prepared using standard methods followed at MH, BSI
Corangi Reserved Forest (RF)
The Mangrove vegetation in this R.F. is dense. The total area as
per the forest department is about 4,242 ha. out of which 2,951 ha.
is with dense mangroves. Avicennia marina and Excoecaria
agallocha are the dominant species. Acanthus ilicifolius and
Myriostachya wightiana are found in thick patches along the creeks
of Corangi River near Ramannapalem and Matlapalem creeks.

Associated species like Thespesia populneoides, Hibiscus tiliaceus

and Clerodendrum inerme are present. Suaeda maritima and S.
nudiflora are common in the degraded and partially degraded areas.
In the elevated areas where the soil is highly saline Salicornia
brachiata is seen. Shrubs namely Acanthus ilicifolius and Dalbergia
spinosa and climbers like Ipomoea tuba, Sarcolobus carinatus,
Caesalpinia crista, and Derris trifoliata are also recorded.
Lumnitzera racemosa, Excoecaria agallocha and Avicennia marina
are found in the up-land areas. The soil of this R.F. is clayey.
The mangrove zonations near Corangi river mouth and Matlapalem
canal are distinct. Avicennia alba is seen as pure stands near
Kakinada Bay side (Corangi river and Matlapalem canal mouths).
The next zone towards landward side is with pure stands of
Sonneratia apetala. After this the vegetation is mixed with pure
stands of Excoecaria agallocha, Lumnitzera racemosa, Aegiceras
corniculatum and Avicennia marina. The other mangrove species
Rhizophora apiculata, Xylocarpus moluccensis, Bruguiera
cylindrica, B. gymnorrhiza and Ceriops decandra are almost
Corangi Extension R.F.
The Corangi extension R.F. as per the records of Forest department
is 19,467 ha. As Kakinada Bay falls under this R.F. more than
50% of the area is under water bodies. The vegetation along the
Matlapalem creek and Gaderu creek are thick. Excoecaria
agallocha is the dominant species and Avicennia marina is sub
dominant. The average height of the vegetation is about 4.5m. In
the eastern side of Gaderu River, species namely Bruguiera
gymnorrhiza, B. cylindrica, Rhizophora apiculata, R. mucronata
andXylocarpus molluccensis are recorded. These species are either
rare or absent in the Matlapalem canal area. Near the Gaderu river
mouth Sonneratia alba is recorded. Acanthus ilicifolius,
Myriostachya wightiana, Fimbristylis ferruginea are recorded. In
the degraded areas Suaeda nudiflora, S. maritima and Salicornia

brachiata are recorded. Sesuvium portulacastrum is abundant in

this R.F. along with Bruguiera cylindrica near Gaderu side. The
soil of this R.F. is clayey in the Gaderu riverside and sandy clay
near the Bay side.
Bhairavapalem R.F.
Bhairavapalem R.F. is named after the village Bhairavapalem that
is situated near the Godavari river mouth and occupies an area of
971 ha. In Bhairavapalem R.F. almost all the species are recorded
except Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea. In this R.F. Excoecaria
agallocha, Avicennia marina, A. officinalis and Aegiceras
corniculatum are abundant. Rhizophora apiculata, R mucronata,
Xylocarpus moluccensis, Sonneratia apetala, Bruguiera
gymnorrhiza and B. cylindrica are seen along the creeks. Suaeda
spp. is noticed in the degraded areas. The other species namely
Derris trifoliata, Sarcolobus carinatus, Clerodendrum inerme and
Dalbergia spinosa are also recorded. The soil ofthis R. F. is clayey
along the Gaderu River and is sandy clay towards the seaside.
Rathikalava R.F.
The total area under this R.F. is 2,043 ha. of which 805 ha. is with
dense mangroves. As per the GIS data, the water spread area
(Godavari River) accounts for 724 ha. Degraded and partially degraded mangroves account for 214 ha. Rhizophora apiculata, R.
mucronata, Xylocarpus molluccensis, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza,
Avicennia marina, A. ofjicinalis and Excoecaria agallocha occur
in this R.F. Trees of Rhizophora, Bruguiera are seen along the
creeks reaching about 4-6 m. in height. Large trees of Avicennia
officinalis are found in the R.F. Tamarix troupii, a mangrove associate is recorded in this R.F along with Thespesia populneoides,
Hibiscus tiliaceus and Clerodendrum inerme. Species of Suaeda
and Salicornia occur in the degraded areas. Stunted Excoecaria
agallocha, Lumnitzera racemosa are also found in the degraded
areas. Prosopis invasion along the Saleru canal is noticed which

are cut and sold by the villagers for tobacco curing during December
and January every year. In spite ofthis practice, this species is fast
making in roads into mangrove areas posing a severe threat to
mangroves. The soil is clayey.
Masanitippa R.F.
Masanitippa RF. is named after the village Masanitippa. This R.F.
extends to an area of 1,089.5 ha. Out ofthis, 814 ha. is covered
with dense mangroves. The species composition and the vegetation
pattern in this R.F. are similar to Rathikalava R.F. Rhizophora
apiculata and R. mucronata of about 5m. height are seen along the
creeks. Avicennia marina and Excoecaria agallocha are the
dominant species in this R.F. Sonneratia apetala, Bruguiera
gymnorrhiza, Ceriops decandra, Lumnitzera racemosa and
Bruguiera cyhndrica are also recorded in this R.F. Large areas of
mangroves are occurring outside the R.F. towards the Bay of
Bengal, which is under severe erosion due to oceanic currents and
tides. Prosopis thickets are also noticed in this area. The soil of
this R.F. is clayey.
Matlatippa R.F.
In Matlatippa RF. fairly dense mangrove vegetation is found on
the eastern side. The western side is elevated and also there are no
creeks to facilitate tidal flow. According to Forest department the
mangroves are spread in 445 ha. of which 210 ha. is with vegetation.
The remaining areas are with degraded mangroves and water
bodies. Grazing by cattle and goat are observed in this R.F. Species
like Sonneratia apetala, Rhizophora apiculata, Bruguiera
gymnorrhiza, Avicennia marina, A. ofjicinahs, A. alba, Lumnitzera
racemosa, Ceriops decandra and Xylocarpus moluccensis are
recorded in this R.F. Climbers like Derris trifohata, Sarcolobus
carinatus, grasses like Porteresia coarctata, Myriostachya
wightiana and shrubs like Dalbergia spinosa and Acanthus
ilicifohus are recorded. The soil of this RF. is clayey.

Balusutippa RF.
Balusutippa R.F. is named after the village Balusutippa. The extent
of mangroves under this R.F. is about 475 ha. of which 427 ha. is
under mangrove vegetation. Large trees of Avicennia ofjicinahs,
A. marina, Rhizophora apiculata, R. mucro nata, Bruguiera
gymnorrhiza, Xylocarpus moluccensis and Ceriops decandra are
recorded in this R.F. Large areas of mangroves are seen outside
this RF. along the Gowthami Godavari River. Soil of this R.F. is
Kothapalem RF.
This is also named after the village Kothapalem. Through the
mangrove extent in this R.F. is only 50.8 ha. the species diversity
is rich and the vegetation is fairly dense. A rare and endemic species
namely Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea Gaertn. f. (RUBIACEAE) is
recorded near the Sacramento lighthouse. They are about 2 m. in
height. Along the entire East coast this species occurs only in this
R.F. Other plants namely Excoecaria agallocha, Lumnitzera
racemosa, Rhizophora apiculata, R. mucronata, Xylocarpus
moluccensis, Bruguiera gym norrh iza, Avicennia marina and
A. ofjicinahs are recorded. Trees of these species are about 4-5 m.
in height. Climbers namely, Derris trifohata and Sarcolobus
carinatus are recorded. Shrubs like Dalbergia spinosa,
Clerodendrum inerme and the halophytic herbs such as Suaeda
and Sahcornia are also recorded. The nearby aqua ponds and
habitation are constant sources ofthreat to the mangrove ecosystem
in this area. The soil is clayey.
Kandikuppa RF.
This RF. is about 3,802 ha. of which healthy mangroves occur in
425 ha. Large areas of Casuarina plantations along the shore, is
also a part of this R.F. Vegetation in this R. F. is relatively healthy
and also rich in diversity. Species namely Rhizophora apiculata,
Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Ceriops decandra and


molluccensis are found in the RF. Excoecaria agallocha, Avicennia

marina, A. officinalis and Lumnitzera racemosa are also recorded in
this R.F. The vegetation in this RF. is disturbed due to the
human pressure from the nearby villages namely Molletimogga,
Kothapalem, Pandi and Pora. The soil is clayey in the land ward
side and it is sandy clay near the seaward side.
The mangroves of Godavari are dense when compared to Krishna
mangroves. The species composition is also high. Excoecaria
agallocha and Avicennia marina contribute to about 90% of area
of mangroves of the Godavari estuarine complex.
Krishna Mangroves

The Krishna mangroves are between 15 42' - 15 55' N and 80

42' - 81 01E spread across Krishna and Guntur Districts
(Fig 3).
Sorlagondi R.F.

The vegetation in Sorlagondi RF. is sparse. The total area as per

the records of the Forest department is 5,199.40 ha. out of which
1,292 ha. is with dense mangroves. The vegetation near the
lighthouse is dense. Avicennia ofjicinalis, A. marina, Excoecaria
agallocha, Aegiceras corniculatum and Rhizophora apiculata are
recorded. Suaeda maritima and S. nudiflora are common in the
degraded areas and Excoecaria agallocha and Avicennia marina
with stunted growth also occur. Acanthus ilicifolius is seen along
the sides of the creek and Clerodendrum inerme an associate species
is also recorded. Avicennia marina, and Excoecaria agallocha are
the dominant species. In the highly saline areas Salicornia
brachiata, is present and dense vegetation of Prosopis is seen in
the uplands towards landward side. Nearly 500 ha. of the barren
areas near Gollalamoda are converted for aquaculture. Soil in this
R.F. is clayey.

Fig. 3. Krishna Mangroves

1. Sorlagondi R.F.
2.Nachugunta R.F. 3. Yelichetladibba R.F.
4. Lankavanidibba R.F.
5. Mulagunta R.F. 6. Kothapalem R.F. B.No. 1
7. Kothapalem R.F. B.No. 2 8. Aduvuladivi R.F.

Nachugunta RF.
The total area of this R.F. is 6,064.64 ha. in which 2,873 ha. are
healthy mangroves. Species diversity is more in this R.F. Dense
vegetation of the Rhizophora apieulata, Avieennia marina and
A. offieinalis are seen along the canals. Prosopis invasion is more
in some places with mixed vegetation of Exeoeearia agalloeha.
Mean height of the trees in this area is 4-5 m. Large areas of
degraded mangroves occur near Zinkapalem village with stunted
growth of Exeoeearia agalloeha, Suaeda maritima and Avieennia
marina. The dominant species are Rhizophora apieulata and
Avieennia marina. Species like Exeoeearia agalloeha, Aegieeras
eornieulatum, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza and Acanthus ilieifolius are
recorded. Soil is clayey towards landward side and sandy clayey
near the shore side.
Yelichetladibba RF.
The total area of this R.F. is 3,714.09 ha. in which 751 ha. is of
dense mangroves. Large areas are under intensive aquaculture along
the Nadimeru canal. The mangrove vegetation is sparse in the
land ward side while thick vegetation is seen towards seaward side.
The degraded areas are elevated along the creeks and tidal water
that enters during the spring tides and during floods got stagnated
and increased the soil salinity thus leading to degradation of
mangroves. Avieennia marina is the dominant species and other
species like Rhizophora apieulata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza and
Aegieeras eornieulatum are also recorded. Acanthus ilieifolius is
seen along the creeks. Soil is sandy towards the shore side and
sandy clay towards landward side. Suaeda maritima and S.
nudiflora are noticed in the degraded areas. Non-mangroves namely
Prosopis, Opuntia and Asparagus are recorded in the upland areas.
Kothapalem RF.
The total area in this R.F. is 1553.91 ha. in which only 285 ha. is
under healthy mangroves. This R.F. is named after the village

Kothapalem situated nearby. Large areas of degraded patches near

Vasalsinkkalava are converted for aquaculture. In Kothapalem R.F.
thick vegetation of Avieennia marina, Rhizophora apieulata, R.
mucronata, Bruguiera eylindriea, B. gymnorrhiza andXyloearpus
granatum are seen along the canals. Suaeda maritima and
Salieornia braehiata occur in the abandoned aqua farms as well
as in the degraded areas. Species namely Ceriops deeandra,
Avieennia officina lis, Clerodendrum inerme, Sesuvium
portulaeastrum and Salieornia braehiata are recorded.
Lankivanidibba R.F.
The total area under this R.F is 5,382 ha. of which 1,974 ha. is
with thick mangrove vegetation. Avieennia marina, A. officina lis,
Xyloearpus granatum, Exeoeearia agalloeha, Ceriops deeandra,
Rhizophora apieulata and Bruguiera eylindriea are recorded. The
vegetation is healthier. Large degraded areas are available in this
R.F. Anthropological pressure is more from the nearby villages of
Molagunta, Kothapa1em, Patur, Nakshatranagar and
Lankivanidibba. The soil in this R.F. is clayey. Invasion of Prosopis
is high in some of the areas.
In Krishna, the vegetation is sparse in Sorlagondi, Nachugunta,
Lankivanidibba and Yelichetladibba R.Fs. In Lankivanidibba, the
mangrove vegetation is dense along the coast and in the landward
side the vegetation is sparse. Invasion of Prosopis is a serious
threat to the mangrove biodiversity.
Long Term Management
The species diversity and the population density of each species
are directly related to the spatial and temporal discharge of river
water flow. It is determined that the past management practices of
clear felling by coup method without realizing the fact that the
mangroves are not coppicing type has resulted in blank formation
which further inhibited natural regeneration.

The dams constructed across the River Godavari at Dowleswaram

and Almatti in Karnataka and the Prakasam barrage at Vijayawada
in Andhra Pradesh across Krishna River for increasing the cultivable
areas has resulted in the reduced river water flow and thus the
nutrients required for the mangroves. A cumulative effect of these
factors inhibited the natural regeneration and sapling establishment
of mangrove species. This has in fact resulted in the gradual
disappearance of some of the mangrove species. This can be
correlated from the fact that the mangrove species namely Sonneratia
apetala was lost in the mangroves of Picha va ram. This is due to the
reduced flow of river water from the period 1950 to till date.
Based on the chronological data on salinity and tidal amplitude the
species that were occurring in the past needs to be reestab-lished
by aforestration methods as a means of long term management.
The river mouths need to be periodically cleared and sand bars removed to ensure free flooding of river water into the sea. This would
not only help in the better nutrient supply to the mangroves but also to
the juveniles of fishery which breed in the open sea and take
shelter in the mangroves. Periodical monitoring of sand bar formation of river mouth coupled with rainfall data and water discharge
data from Dowleswaram and other barrages could be an optimum
measure, which needs to be followed with a detennined deadlines.
Dredging of river mouth can be linked with port authorities and
local fishennen as both have a stake in the economical and ecological benefits. Another important aspect that contributes to the
causes of degradation is the felling of mangrove for genuine basic
needs. A rationale approach in the protection of mangroves should
be such that viable alternatives should be provided. Particularly
joint patrolling by members ofEDC/VSS and Forest Department
Staff and genuine vigilance to control poaching by outsiders would
help in better management of these dwindling much needed resources
of great ecological value.


Enumeration of species
In the present floristic enumeration 35 species have been recorded
belonging to 27 genra of 20 families occurring in Godavari and
Krishna mangrove areas. The species occurrence, local names, life
form and conservation status are given in Table 6.
Table 6. Mangrove plant species occurring in Godavari and Krishna

Plant Species and




Godavari Krishna


Avicennia alba Bl.

A. marina (Forsk.) Vierh.
A. officinalis L.
Lumnitzera racemosa Wild.


Excoecaria agallocha L. Tilla



Xylocarpus granatum Koen. Senuga




X. moluccensis (Lamk.) Senuga

M. Roem.
Aegiceras corniculatum (L.) Guggilam
Blanto Myrsinaceae
Bruguiera cylindrica (L.) Bl Urudu


Coomon Landward side

Common Landward side
Rare - found only
in Krishna




B. gymnorrhiza (L.) Savigny Kandriga

Ceriops decandra (Griff.) Togara
Ding Hou
Rhizophora apiculata Bl. Ponna
R. mucronata Lamk.
Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea Nara


Common in the
Gaderu river
Less frequent






Less Common







Vilava mada Tree


Tella mada


Common near
the seaward side

Nalla mada












Plant Species and




Sonneratia apetala
Buch. - Ham.
Sonneratia alba J. Smith Pedda
Acanthus ilicifolius L.
Dalbergia spinosa Roxb. Chillinga
Sarcolobus carinatus Wall. Balaboddu
Caesalpinia crista L.
Ipomoea pes-caprae (L.) Sweet
Ipomoea tuba L.
Derris trifoliata Lour.
Nalla theega
Sesuvium portulacastrum (Linn.) Linn.
Salicornia brachiata Roxb. Chenopodiaceae
Suaeda maritima (L.)
S. nudiflora (Willd.) Moq Elakura
Fimbristylis ferruginea (L.) Vah.

Godavari Krishna






Common in less
saline areas
Common in less
saline areas
Common in
Excoecaria zone
Common in less
saline areas
Common in the
sandy areas
Common in less
saline areas
Common in less
saline areas
Common in
sandy places

Common along
the creeks

In the river
mouths with
newly accreted
alluvial soils




Aeluropus lagopoides(L.) Herb

Myriostachya wightiana Dhaba gaddi Herb
(Necs ex. Steud.)Hook.f.
Porteresia coarctata (Roxb.) Yellugaddi Herb



Common in
degraded salt
pan areas
Common in
degraded areas
Common in
degraded areas
Less frequent in
low saline areas
near river banks

Assciated Plants

Plant Species and





Hibiscus tiliaceus L.




Thespesia poulneoides
(Roxb.) Kostel
Tamarix troupii Hole.







Clerodendrum inerme



Godavari Krishna

towards landward side
Common along
tidal banks of
landward side
Less frequent
along river
banks near
BhairavalankaRathikalava RF
Common along
creeks in the
landward area


Key to the Families

(Adopted from Banerjee and Rao, 1990)
1a. Stem woody with central pith. Flowers 4-5 merous
2a. Plants with stilt roots, knee roots, pneumatophores and
3a. Plants with stilt roots (except in Bruguiera with knee
roots) and vivipary. Pneumatophores absent.
4a. Ovary inferior. Stamens and anther sacs more than
6, ovules typically 2 on each placenta
4b. Ovary superior. Stamens and anther sacs less than
6, ovules not typically 2.
3b. Plants without stilt roots and vivipary, pneumatophores
present (except in Avicennia with incipient vivipary).
5a. Stem trunk buttressed
5b. Stem trunk not buttressed

6a. Lower surface of leaf glabrous. Petals

present or absent. Stamens many, inserted
on a hypanthium. Fruit resting on calyx
tube. Seed with testa. Cotyledon not con
6b. Lower surface of leaf covered with brown
hairs. Petals always present. Staments 4-5
not on hypanthium. Fruit not resting on ca
lyx tube. Seed without testa. Cotyledon
2b. Plants without stilt roots, knee roots and vivipary
7a. Perianth uniseriate, not differentiated
into calyx and corolla.
8a. Plants with milky sap
8b. Plants without milky sap.
9a. Stamens many, united basally,
staminodes present. Fruit a cap
sule dehiscing septicidally
9b. Stamens 5, not united basally,
staminodes absent. Fruit an in
dehiscent nutlet
7b. Perianth biseriate, differentiated into
calyx and corolla
10a. Interpetiolar stipules absent
10b. Interpetiolar stipules present

11a. Petals free (rarely basally con

12a. Corolla regular. Fruit a cap
sule or drupe or otherwise
but not a legume or
13a. Stamens monadelphous
13b. Stamens free
12b. Corolla irregular. Fruit al
ways a legume or lomentum
14a. Flowers papilionaceous,
petals not distinctly free,
basally connate
14b. Flowers caesalpiniaceous, petals distinctly
free Caesalpiniaceae
11b. Petals united
15a. Plants with latex or
milky sap or milky
16a. Leaves alternate
16b. Leaves opposite
15b. Plants without latex or
miky sap or milky


17a. Cystoliths present. Floral bracts and bracteoles

prominent. Fruit a cap
sule dehiscing elastically and retinacula
supporting the seeds
17b. Cystoliths absent. Floral
bracteoles absent.
Fruit a drupe, not de
hiscing as above
1b. Stem without central pith. Flowers usually trimerous
18a. Stems solid, unbranched, triquetrous. Leaves in
basal tufts, ligules
borne axillary. Placenta free central.
18b. Stems usually hollow,
branched. Leaves not
in basal tufts, ligules
present. Florets borne
terminal. Placenta
The families Myrsinaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Meliaceae,
Sonneratiaceae, Avicenniaceae, Aizoaceae, Tamaricaceae,
Combretaceae, Caesalpiniaceae, Convolvulaceae, Asclepiadaceae,

Acanthaceae, Verbenaceae and Cyperaceae are represented by one

genus each. The key to genera are given for Rhizophoraceae,
Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Poaceae families.
Except the genera Rhizophora, Bruguiera, Avicennia, Sonneratia,
Suaeda and Xylocarpus, all the other genera are represented by
only one species each. Hence, the key to species are provided for the
above genera.
Key to the Genera
Flowers ebracteolate; calyx 8-13-lobed; petals 2-lobed.
Flowers bracteolate; calyx 4-6 lobed ; petals not lobed.
Petals with appendages


Petals without appendages


Trees, Leaflets alternate; pods not winged


Climbing or twinning shrubs, Leaflets opposite; pods usually winged

Trees with yellow latex; young parts covered with lepidotes;
stigmas coherent
Small trees without latex; young parts covered with stellate hairs;
stigmas distinct

Stems jointed, leafless


Stems not jointed, leafy throughout


Stems prostrate


Stems erect and tall

Stems densely tufted, erect from a stout sheathed root-stock
Stems not tufted, erect from a creeping rhizome
Key to Species
Inflorescence 2-flowered; petals glabrous; stamens 12
R. apiculata
Inflorescence more than 2-flowered (4-8); petals hairy; stamens
mostly eight
R. mucronata
Flowers solitary, red, 3 - 4 cm long
Flowers (-2)-3-(-5), white, less than 2 cm. long

B. gymnorrhiza
B. cylindrica

Petals absent

S. apetala

Petals present

S. alba

Stem blackish in colour; leaves lanceolate; inflorescence spicate;
capsules ellipsoid
A. alba
Stem greyish in colour; leaves obovate or elliptic; inflorescence
umbellate; capsules ovoid;
Trees, 10-30 m tall; leaves obovate; capsules broadly ovoid,
A. officinalis
Shrubs or small trees, 0.5-6m tall; leaves elliptic; capsules
A. marina
Leaves terete, 5-12mm; long, bracteoles pectinate
S. nudiflora
Leaves not terete, more than 12mm long
S. maritima
Buttresses present; root suckers absent
X. granatum
Buttresses absent; root suckers present
X. moluccensis


Aegiceras corniculatum (L.) Blanco, Fl. Filip. ed. 1. 79. 1837; Gamble,
Fl. Pres. Madras 2:532. 1957 (repr. ed.); Rhizophora corniculata L.
Amoen. Acad. 4: 123. 1759. Aegiceras majus Gaertn. Fruct. 1: 216. t.
46. f. 1. 1788; Wight, III. 2: t. 146. 1850; Clarke in Hook. F. Fl. Brit.
India 3 : 533. 1882. : Field No: MSSRF 18 : MYRSINACEAE
Small, 2-4 m tall
evergreen trees; stems
much branched, with
brownish grey bark
and broom-shaped
stilt roots arising from
base. Leaves 4-8.5 x
2-4.5 cm, alternate,
obovate or ovateoblong, coriaceous,
entire, retuse or
emarginate at apex,
cuneate at base;
petioles 5-9 mm long.
Flowers 1.5-2 cm long,
subsessile, mostly in
leaf-opposed umbels.
Fruits 6-8 cm long,
pointed, coriaceous, yellowish brown with persistent imbricate calyx;
mesocarp spongy; epicarp membranous; hypocotyle 3-4 cm long, curved,
Local name


Flowering and Fruiting :

June - October; flowering and fruiting

throughout the year




Rhizophora apiculata Blume. Enum. Pl. Jav. 1:91, 1827. R. candelaria

DC. Prodr. 3: 32. 1828; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1 : 323. 1957 (repr.
ed.). R. conjugata auct. Non L. 1753; Henslow in Hook. F. Fl. Brit.
India 2: 436. 1878. Field No: MSSRF 19 : RHIZOPHORACEAE

Trees, 5-6 m tall, 30-100 cm in

diam.; stem base without tap root
supporting stilt roots aerial, many
branched; branches sympodial.
Leaves 10-20 x 5-9 cm, ellipticoblong, sub-lanceolate or ovatelanceolate, decussate, entire,
coriaceous, acute, apiculate at
apex, cuneate at base. Flowers
10-12 mm long, yellow, sessile,
paired in upper axils from cupular
involucres, peduncles short, 4-6
mm long. Fruits 2.5-3 cm across,
obpyriform, solid, brown;
hypocotyle 20-30 cm long,
smooth, cylindrical, pointed
towards the radical end.
Local name

: Ponna

Flowering and Fruiting : June - October; flowering and fruiting

throughout the year

: Eastern side of Gaderu river and in

Rathikalava R.F. in Godavari and
Nachugunta R.F. in Krishna

Rhizophora mucronata Poir. in Lam. Tabl. Encycl. 2:517, 1794 & Lam.
Tabl. Encycl. 1: t. 396. f. 2. 1797 ; Henslow in Hook. F. Fl. Brit. India 2:
435. 1878; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1 : 323. 1957 (repr. ed.). Field No:

Trees, up to 5 m. tall, with many upwardly growing branches; leaf scars

prominent, close : stem - base supported by numerous branched stiltroots. Leaves 10-18 x 4-10 cm, broadly elliptic or ovate-oblong,
coriaceous, abruptly acute or blunt with a rolled up tip (mucro) at apex,
cuneate at base. Flowers in axiallary cymes, 4-8 in number, pedicellate,
cream coloured, fragrant; calyx 12-14 mm long, ovate; petals 9-10 mm
long, lanceolate, fleshy, villose; stamens 6-8 mm long, 8 in number, 4
episepalous, 4 epipetalous; styles 1-2 mm; free part of ovary emerging
much above the disk. Hypocotyle 30-65 cm long, cylindrical.
Local name

: Ponna

Flowering and Fruiting : Season: June - October; flowering and

fruiting throughout the year

: Less common

Ceriops decandra (Griff.) Ding Hou in Steenis, Fl. Males. Ser. 1.5. :
471, 1958. Bruguiera decandra Griff. in Trans. Med. Soc. Calcutta 8 :
10. 1836. Ceriops roxburghiana Arn. In Ann. Nat. Hist. 1 : 364. 1838;
Henslow in Hook. F. Fl. Brit. India 2 : 436. 1878; Gamble, Fl. Pres.
Madras 1 : 324. 1957 (repr. ed.). Field No: MSSRF 28 : RHIZOPHORACEAE

Trees, about 2-3 m tall, stem reddish brown, much-branched; bark lightgrey, lenticular fissures, peeling in thin flakes; stem base pyramidal in
outline, with many stilt roots. Leaves 5-14 x 4-10 cm, obovate or ellipticoblong, coriaceous, rounded or emarginate at apex, cuneate at base; petioles
1.5-2 cm long. Flowers white, 3-4 mm across, resinous, 8-14 flowered,
condensed cymes arranged in the axils of several nodes or form upper
axils of branchlets; calyx lobes not reflexed; petals not cohering, fringed
at apex; stamens 1 mm long, anthers much longer than filaments. Fruits
ovoid, conical, hypocotyle 12-14 cm long, angular, sulcate.
Local name


Flowering and Fruiting :

Season: June - October; flowering and

fruiting throughout the year


Common in the Godavari mangroves


Bruguiera cylindrica (L.) Blume Enum. Pl. Jav. 1 : 93, 1827, quoad
basionym; Wight & Arn. Prodr. 311. 1834; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1
: 325. 1957 (repr. ed.). Rhizophora cylindrica L. Sp. Pl. 443. 1753.
Bruguiera caryophylloides (Burm. F.) Blume, Enum. Pl. Jav. 1: 93. 1827;
Henslow in Hook. F. Fl. Brit. India 2:438. 1878. Rhizophora
caryophyloloides Burm. F. Fl. Ind. 109. 1768. Bruguiera malabarica
Arn. in Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 1 : 369. 1838; Henslow in Hook. f. Fl.
Brit. India 2: 438. 1878. Field No: MSSRF 24 : RHIZOPHORACEAE

Trees, 2-3 m. tall, stems smooth, lenticellate; stem base buttressed, with
many knee roots; twigs bronze-coloured with stipular scars. Leaves 816.5 x 5.5-6.5 cm, oblanceolate, or rarely elliptic, thick, coriaceous,
bronze-green, acute at apex, cuneate at base; petioles 3-3.5 cm long;
flowers white, 1-11.3 cm across, 3, in axially pedunclate cymes;
peduncles 7-8 mm long; pedicels very short, not articulated; calyx tubes
smooth, cup-shaped, not ribbed, lobes variable in numbers usually 8-9,
or 10, reflexed, each 8-10 mm long; petals white, as many as the calyx
lobes, each 8-10 mm long, bilobed, tip of petal lobes rounded, with 3
cilias in each, sinus of petal lobes with one long bristle; margins of
petals mediumly hairy throughout. Hypocotyle 10-14 cm long, 5 mm in
diam., more or less cylindric, straight or slightly curved towards apex.
Local name
: Urudu
Flowering and Fruiting : Season: June - October; flowering and
fruiting throughout the year
: Found near Gaderu river

Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (L.) Savigny in Lam. Encycl. 4: 696, 1798;

gymnorrhiza; Henslow in Hoo. f. Fl. Brit. India 2: 437. 1878.
Rhizophora gymnorrhiza L. Sp. Pl. 443. 1753, gymnorrhiza. Bruguiera
conjugata Merr. in Philipp. J. Sci. 9 : 118. 1914, non Rhizophora
conjugata Merr. in Philipp. J. Sci. 9 : 118. 1914, non Rhizophora
conjugata L. 1753; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1 : 324. 1957 (repr. ed.).

Trees, 2-4 m tall, 30-60 cm in diam.; bark rough, fissured, corky

lenticellate; stem base shortly buttressed with many geniculate
pneumatophores. Leaves 12.5-20.5 x 5.5-7.5 cm, elliptic oblong or
ovate-elliptic, thick coriaceous, dark green, entire, acute at apex, obtuse
at base; petioles reddish green in colour. Flowers scarlet, up to 3.5-4
cm, solitary; calyx tubes ribbed, 10 - 14 - lobed, petals as many as calyx
lobes, 13-17 mm long, two-lobed, caducous, embracing a pair of stamens,
each lobe reflexed at tip; tip of petal lobe acute, with 2-4 cilias; sinus of
petal with one straight bristle; margin of petal glabrous or hairy; sinus
bristles, apical cilias and marginal hairs, very variable in numbers and
sizes with many intergrading forms; stamens 9-12 mm long; anthers
linear; style 12-17 mm long, 3-fid. Hypocotyl angular, cigar shaped,
15-17 x 1.5-2.5 cm, narrowed at apex.
Local name
: Kandringa
Flowering and Fruiting : June - October; flowering and fruiting
throughout the year
: Found only near Gaderu river,
Bhairavapalem R.F., Rathikalava R.F.

Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham. in Symes, Embassy Ava 3 : 477. 1800;

Clarke in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 2:579. 1879; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras
1 : 363. 1957 (repr. ed.). Field No: MSSRF 27 : SONNERATIACEAE

Trees, 4-6 m. tall, 30-80 cm in diam., with dense crowns; stems with
many pale-green, soft drooping branches; bark thin, light brown,
irregularly fissured; stem base not buttressed, provided with 15-30 cm
long, peg-like, corky pneumatophores; pneumatophores sometimes
forked twice or thrice. Leaves 5-14 x 2-3.5 cm, narrowly elliptic-oblong
or oblanceolate, coriaceous, attenuate at base, tapering towards apex.
Flowers 1.5-2 cm across, apetalous, green or yellowish-white, in axially
solitary or terminal 3-flowered dichasia or 7-flowered cymes from the
branch-axils. Fruits 2-2.5 cm across, smooth globes, many seeded
berries, shortly pointed at apex.
Local name


Flowering and Fruiting :

July - November


Common near Coringa river mouth


Sonneratia alba J. Smith in Recs. Cycl. 33(2); 1819; Back. & v. Steenis
(l.c.) 85; Clarke in Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 2: 580, 1879; Mooney in Suppl.
Bot. Bihar & Orissa 251, 1950. Field No: MSSRF 33 : SONNERATIACEAE

Trees 5-10 m tall, 20-60 cm in diam., with pneumatophores. Leaves 510 x 3-5.5 cm, obovate, coriaceous, cuneate at base, rounded at apex.
Flowers 4-6 cm across, white, solitary or in dischasia or terminal
branchlets. Fruits 4-5 cm across, ovoid-globose, apex concave-depressed
with tip pointed, base resting on cup-shaped calyx-tube; calyx lobes 67, reflexed. Seeds many.
Ecology: Rare along the outer zones of muddy seashores, on sandy or
hard calcareous substratum, covered with oyster shells.
Local name

: Pedha Kalingi, Adavi gummadi

Flowering and Fruiting : February - October


: Rare - Near Gaderu river mouth


Avicennia alba Blume Bijdr. 821, 1826; Wight, Ic. t. 1482. 1849;
Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2:774. 1957 (repr. ed.); A. officinalis L. var.
alba (Blume) Clarke in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 4 : 604. 1885. Field No:

Shrubs or small trees, 4-10 m tall, stems 20-50 cm in diam., glabrous,

black coloured with thin lenticellate bark. Tap roots absent;
pneumatophores 8-15 cm long, straight, narrowly pointed, often hooked
at apex. Leaves 8-15 x 2.5-4 cm, lanceolate, dark green or black, shining
above, silvery papillose below, acute or acuminate at apex, cuneate at
base. Flowers 3-6 mm across, yellow, fragrant, arranged in axiallary or
terminal spikes; peduncles 2.5-3.5 cm long, branched. Ovary ovoidoblong, upper-half with patent adpressed hairs, lower-half glabrous; style
1-1.5 mm long; stigma minute, with two equal lobes. Capsules 3-4 cm
long, ovoid or ellipsoid, narrowly acuminate, slightly curved at apex,
densely tomentose throughout. Seeds often germinate while attached
to the mother plant (incipient vivipary).
Local name
Flowering and Fruiting :

Ilava Mada
August - November
Common near the Coringa river mouth,
along the Godavari river in Matlatippa
R.F., and near Balusutippa.

Avicennia officinalis L. Sp. Pl. 110. 1753; Clarke in Hook.f. Fl. Brit.
India 4:604. 1885; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2 : 774. 1957 (repr. ed.). A.
tomentosa sensu Wight, Ic. t. 1481. 1849, non Jacq. 1760. Field No:

Trees, 4-10 m tall, stems 70-150 cm in diam., glabrous, much branched;

bark thin, ash-coloured, tap root absent; pneumatophores 10-20 cm long,
straight, pointed, lenticellate, often forked with hook-like bending at
apex. Leaves 6-10 x 3-6.5 cm, obovate or broadly ovate-oblong,
coriaceous, dark-green above, silvery-papillose beneath, rounded at apex,
narrowed at base. Flowers up to 1 cm long, yellow, fragrant, in axillary
or terminal head-like congested cymes; peduncles 8-15 cm long,
trichotomously branched. Stamens usually excluded; ovary conical,
densely adpressed pubescent throughout; styles 2-2.5 mm long,
pubescent; stigma capitate, unequally 2-lobed. Capsules broadly ovoid,
almond-shaped, densely silvery papillose, beaked at apex.
Local name

: Nalla Mada

Flowering and Fruiting : July - October


: Common in Godavari mangroves


Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh. in Denkschr. Kaiserl. Akad. Wiss.,

Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. 71 : 435. 1907; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2 : 774.
1957 (repr. ed.). Sceura marina Forssk. Fl. Aeg. Arab. 37. 1775. Field

Shrubs or small bushy trees, 3-6 m tall, 10-20 cm in diam.; stems

glabrous, much branched; bark thin, yellowish-grey, tap root absent;
pneumatophores 3-10 cm long, narrowly pointed, straight, not branched
or hooked. Leaves 5-6 x 2.5-3 cm, elliptic-oblong, coriaceous, darkgreen, shining above, yellowish papillose beneath, acute or obtuse at
apex, cuneate at base. Flowers 2-4 mm across, yellow,, fragrant, 6-10,
crowded in terminal condensed cymes; peduncles trichotomously
branched. Stamens included. Ovary globose, densely pubescent; styles
very short, glabrous; stigmas minutely bilobed. Capsules ovoid, half
the size of A. officinalis, apiculate at apex.
Local name

: Thella Mada

Flowering and Fruiting : August - November


: Common in Godavari mangroves


Xylocarpus granatum Koen. in Naturforscher (Halle) 20 : 2. 1784; X.

obovatus (Blume) A. Juss. in Mem. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 19 : 244.
1830; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1 : 132. 1957 (repr. ed.). Carapa obovata
Blume. Bijdr. 179. 1825. C. moluccensis auct. non Lam. 1784; Bedd.
Fl. Sylv. t. 136. 1871; Hiern in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 1: 567. 1875.

Trees, 10-15 m tall, 60-80 cm in girth; stems buttressed; bark smooth,

yellowish-white with papery flakes. Leaves unijugate or bijugate, lower
pairs subopposite; leaflets 6-10 x 3-5 cm, obovate, entire, coriaceous,
rounded at apex, tapering at base. Flowers 5-7 mm across, white, red
glandular within, on short sparingly-branched, axillary thyrses; calyx
4-lobed; petals 4, free; staminal teeth 0.5-1mm long, exceeding anther
lobes. Ovary 4-locular; style short; stigmas copular. Fruits 30-40cm
across, spherical, pendulous, septifragal capsules, splitting tardily into
4 valves. Seeds more than 15; each 4-7 x 3-4 cm pyramidal or triangular;
Ecology: Common along the intertidal regions in the tidal forests, usually
in association with Rhizophora apiculata, and Sonneratia apetala.
Local name

: Senuga

Flowering and Fruiting : June - September


: Rare Kothapalem R.F., Krishna


Xylocarpus moluccensis (Lam.) M. Roem. Syn. Hesper. 124, 1846;

Harms, in Engl.& Prant. Pfam. Ed. 2, 19bI 84, 1940; Adelbert in Blumea
6(1);314, 1947-48. Carapa moluccensis Lamk. Encycl. 1:621, 1785;
Hiern. in Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 1:567, 1875. Field No: MSSRF 7 :

Large trees up to 10 m tall, trunk up to 60 cm in diam. at base, buttressed:

bark red with thick flakes; wood red in colour; pneumatophores woody.
Leaflets 7-12 x 3-6 cm, ovate, acute at apex, oblique at base. Flowers
2-3 cm across, white with red glands inside; staminal teeth obscure,
anthers exceeding in the teeth; stigma cup shaped. Fruits 10-15 cm
across, globose.
Local name

: Senuga

Flowering and Fruiting : June - September


: Rare - Eastern side of Gaderu river,

Bhairavapalem R.F., Kothapalem R.F. and
in Rathikalava R.F.


Lumnitzera racemosa Willd. in Ges. Naturf. Freunde Berlin Neue

Schriften 4 : 187. 1803; Clarke in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 2 : 452, 1878;
Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1:331. 1957 (repr. ed.). Field No: MSSRF 12:

Small trees, 2-4 m tall, without pneumatophores; bark reddish-brown,

lenticellate. Leaves 4-8.5 x 1.5-3.5 cm, obovate, thick, coriaceous, entire,
emarginate at apex, cuneate at base; petioles very short. Flowers 9-11
mm long, white, sessile in axillary spikes; receptacles 3-5 mm long,
tubular, with two adnate, persistent bracteoles. Ovary oblong, elongated,
4-5 carpellary, unilocular, ovules pendulous from the top of placenta.
Fruits 8-10 x 4-6 mm, compressed, woody, ellipsoid, 1-seeded drupes.
Seeds elongated, pointed towards apex.
Local name
: Thanduga
Flowering and Fruiting : October-January
: Common in Godavari mangroves

Excoecaria agallocha L. Syst. Nat. ed. 10. 1288. 1759; Wight, Ic. t.
1865 B. 1852; Hook. in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 5 : 472. 1888; Gamble,
Fl. Pres. Madras 2 : 941. 1957 (repr. ed.). Field No: MSSRF 16 :

Evergreen trees with milky acrid juice, 3-8 m tall, 10-40 cm in diam.,
barks greyish-white, smooth, lenticellate, wood soft, light. Tap root
insignificant, lateral roots spreading like snakes intermingled each other,
supraterranean bands produce elbow-shaped pegs instead of
pneumatophores. Leaves 2-8 x 1.5-3 cm, ovate, ovate-elliptic or ovateoblong, coriaceous, shining dark-green, turning red before shedding, obtuse
or acute at apex, narrowed at base. Flowers unisexual, fragrant, male
flowers 2-3 mm across, sessile, yellow, in axially many flowered catkinlike spikes spikes 3-7 cm long; female flowers 2.5-3.5 mm across,
pedicellate, in axially few-flowered racemes, racemes 1-2.5 cm long. Fruits
1-1.5 cm across, depressed globes, 3-lobed. Seeds sub-globose, smooth.
Local name
Flowering and Fruiting :

June - October

Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea Gaertn. f. Fruct. 3: 91. t. 196. 1805; Hook.

f. Fl. Brit. India 3: 125. 1880; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2 : 438. 1957
(repr. ed.). Field No: MSSRF 10 : RUBIACEAE

Small trees resembling Lumnitzera racemosa, branchlets stout, swollen

at the nodes. Leaves coriaceous, obovate; stipules interpetiolar, short.
Flowers small in dense axillary shortly pedunculate cymes. Calyx-tube
elongate; limb cupular, truncate, 4 5 - toothed. Corolla tube cylindric;
lobes 4-5, oblong, spreading or recurved, twisted in bud. Stamens 4-5,
between the corolla lobes; anthers linear-sagittate. Disk annular. Ovary
2-celled; ovules 2 in each cell, on the middle of the septum; style filiform
with linear branches. Fruit a subcylindric 8-10 - grooved drupe with 2
crustaceous connate pyrenes. Seeds subcylindric; testa membranous;
albumen scanty; cotyledons oblong.
Local name
: Naara thanduga
Flowering and Fruiting : May - August
: Rare and endemic, found only in
Kothapalem R.F.


Acanthus ilicifolius L. Sp. Pl. 639. 1753; Clarke in Hook. f. Fl. Brit.
India 4 : 481. 1884; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2 : 712. 1957 (repr. ed.).
Dilivaria ilicifolia (L.) Juss. Gen. Pl. 103. 1789; Wight, Ic. t. 459. 1841.
Erect, ascending or scandent,
thistly herbs or undershrubs,
0.3-1 m. tall; stems terete, often
provided with aerial roots,
glabrous, with two sharp spines
in leaf axils. Leaves 5-11 x 310 cm, decussate, ovate-oblong
or lanceolate, coriaceous,
margins spiny, narrowed at
base, spiny at apex. Flowers
3.5-4 cm long, violet, pubescent
within, arranged in terminal
spikes; spikes simple or
branched, 5-20 cm long; bracts
caducous at or before anthesis;
bracteoles 3-4 mm long,
subtending the calyx. Capsules
2-3 cm in diam., ovoid-oblong,
compressed, apiculate, shining
green or brown.
Local name

: Aalchi

Flowering and Fruiting : May - August


: Abundant along the creeks and associated

with Myriostachya wightiana and
Fimbristylis sp.


Dalbergia spinosa Roxb. Fl. Ind. ed. Carey 3:233, 1832; Baker in Hook.f.
Fl. Brit. India 2:238, 1876; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2:269. 1957 (repr.
ed.). Banerjee et al in Mangroves, Associates and salt marshes of the
Godavari and Krishna delta, 89, 1998. Field No: MSSRF 30 : FABACEAE

Small brushy trees, 4-6 m tall; branchets many, horizontal, ending in a

hard spine. Leaves 6-9 cm. long, crowded at the nodes of
spinousbranchlets; leaflets 9-11, alternate, each 1-2.5 X 0.5-1 cm, elliptic
or obovate, glabrous, obtuse or emarginate at apex, rounded or cuneate
at base. Flowers 2-3 mm across, whitish purple, in axially lateral
racemes. Pods 2.5-3 cm long, thin, glabrous, kidney-shaped, 1-2 - seeded.
Local name
: Chillinga
Flowering and Fruiting : October-January
: Common in Godavari mangroves

Derris trifoliata Lour. Fl. Cochinch. 2:433. 1790; Thoth. in Bull. Bot.
Surv. India 3:181, 1961. D. uliginosa (Roxb.) Benth. in Miq. Pl. Jungh,
1:252. 1852; Baker in Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 2:241, 1878; Gamble, Fl.
Pres. Madras 1:273, 1957 (repr.ed.) Galedupa uliginosa Roxb. Fl. Ind.
3: 243, 1832. : Field No: MSSRF 14 : FABACEAE

Large woody climbing shrubs,

branches wiry, strong, lenticellate.
Leaves imparipinnate, 6-15 cm.
Long; leaflets 5-10 x 2-3.5 cm,
ovate-oblong, acute at apex.
Rounded at base, shining. Flowers
white, 4-6 cm, across, in axillary
racemes. Pods 3-4 cm, flat
narrowly winged along the suture,
Local name

: Nalla theega

Flowering and Fruiting : October - January


: Common in less saline areas


Caesalpinia crista L. Sp. Pl. 380. 1753; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras
1: 278. 1957 (repr. ed.); C. bonducella (L.) Fleming in Asiat. Res. 11:159.
1810; Baker in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 2 : 254, 1878. Guilandia
bonducella L.Sp.Pl.ed. 2.545.1762. Field No: MSSRF 15 :

Large climbers, armed with hooked prickles. Leaves 18-30 cm long,

decompound; pinnae 2-6 pairs; rachies unarmed or sparingly aculeate, 310 cm long; leaflets ovate or elliptic-oblong, subcoriaceous, pale glaucous
beneath, acute at apex, obtuse at base. Flowers 1.5-2 cm long, deep yellow,
fragrant, in axially or supra-axillary branched racemes. Pods 4-5 x3-3.5
cm, ellipsoid, flat, compressed, beaked. Seeds 1, flat, smooth.
Local name
: Rakkisi
Flowering and Fruiting : October-February
: Common in the landward side

Sarcolobus carinatus Wall. in Asiat. Res. 12:570, t. 5, 1816;

Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 4:28, 1883; Banerjee et al in Mangroves,
Associates and salt marshes of the Godavari and Krishna delta, 59, 1998.

Glabrous, twining shrubs with fleshy-rhizomes bearing roots. Leaves

fleshy, variable, 3-7.5 x 2-5.5 cm, broadly elliptic or narrowly ellipticoblong, entire coriaceous, acute or obtuse at apex, rounded at base.
Flowers 2-3 mm across, yellowish-white, in axially pedunculate cymes;
corolla glabrous within; peduncles 5-8 mm long, thick. Follicles 4-6 x
2.5-3 cm, ellipsoid, keeled along the dorsal suture; seeds flattened,
shortly-winged, not comose.
Local name
: Palaboddu theega
Flowering and Fruiting : June - September
: Common - Associated mostly with
Excoecaria. Tender fruits are edible

Ipomoea pes-caprae (L.) R. Br. in Tuckey, Narr. Exp. Zaire 477. 1818;
Gamble, F1. Pres Madras 2 : 644. 1957 (repr. ed.). Convolvulus pescaprae L. Sp. Pl. 159. 1753. Ipomoea biloba Forssk. Fl. Aeg.-Arab.
44. 1775; Clarke in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 4:212. 1883. Field No: MSSRF

Leaves emarginately more or less deeply 2-lobed, prostrate herbs of the

sea-shore ; sepals oblong, obtuse, apiculate, the outer smaller than the
inner, 3-5 in . long, glabrous ; corolla tubular-funnel-shaped, up to 2-5
in. long; leaves thick, fleshy, parallel-nerved up to 2 in. long, 3-5 in.
broad ; seeds with golden brown pubescence, 3 in. in diam.
Flowering and Fruiting : June - September

: Common in the sandy shores


Ipomoea tuba (Schlechtend.) G. Don, Gen. Syst. 4:271, 1838; Verdcourt

in Fl. Trop. E. Africa Convol: 137, 1963; Ooststr. in Fl. Mal. 4:487,
1953. Convolvulus tuba Schlechtend. in Linnaea 6:735, 1831. Ipomoea
grandiflora Clarke in Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India. 4:198, 1883, non (Linn.f.)
Lamk. (1791). I. glaberrima Hook. Journ. Bot. 1:357, 1834.
Banerjee et al in Mangroves, Associates and salt marshes of the Godavari
and Krishna delta, 76, 1998. Field No: MSSRF 36 : CONVOLVULACEAE

Glabrous, perennial twiners; stems more or less woody, longitudinally

wrinkled, straw-coloured. Leaves 7-14 x 6-11 cm, broadly ovate or
orbicular, entire cordate at base, acuminate at apex; petioles 3-12 cm
long. Flowers 6-15 cm long, white, axially, solitary or rarely in 2flowered cymes; corolla salver-shaped with 7-8 cm long tube. Fruits 23 cm in diam., globose, pale brown. Seeds 4, hairy along margins.
Local name

Thella theega

Flowering and Fruiting :

June - September


Common in the landward side


Myriostachya wightiana (Nees ex Steud.) Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 7 :

327. 1896; Bor, Grass. Burma Ceylon India Pakistan 518. 1960.
Leptochloa wightiana Nees ex Steud. Syn. Pl. Glumac. 1 : 209. 1854.
Field No: MSSRF 41 : POACEAE

Gregarious perennial grass, stem densely tufted, erect from a sheathed

rootstock, 1-2 m tall. Leaves 1-1.5 m long, linear, smooth, acuminate.
Ligule absent. Panicle 15-20 cm with smooth rachis. Spikelets smooth,
pedicellate, compressed; glumes unequal with scaberulous keels.
Local name

: Darbha gaddi

Flowering and Fruiting : June - October


: Common along the creeks


Aeluropus lagopoides (L.) Trin. ex Thw. Enum. Pl. Zeyl. 374. 1864,
lagopodioides; Fischer in Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 3: 1276. 1957
(repr. ed.); Bor, Grass. Burma Ceylon India & Pakistan 380. 1960.
Dactylis lagopoides L. Mant. Pl. 33. 1767. Aeluropus villosus Trin. ex
C. Meyer, Verz. Pfl. Casp. Meer. 18. 1831; Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 7 :
334; 1896. Field No: MSSRF 40 : POACEAE

Small much branched grass with terminal globose flower-heads.

Common all along coasts and interior saltpans.
Local name

: Gaddi

Flowering and Fruiting

: December - March


: Common in degraded areas


Porteresia coarctata (Roxb.) Tateoka in Bull. Nat. Sci. Mus. Tokyo

8:406, 1965; Henry in Bull. Bot. Surv. India 11:214, 1969. Oryza
coarctata Roxb. Fl. Ind. 2:206, 1932; Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 7:93, 1896.
Sclerophyllum coarctatum (Roxb.) Griff. Notul. 3:8, 1851 non Gaud
(1829). Indoryza coarctata Roxb. Fl. Ind. 2:206, 1832; Henry & Roy in
Bull. Bot. Surv. India 10:274, 1968. Banerjee et al in Mangroves,
Associates and salt marshes of the Godavari and Krishna delta, 102,
1998. Field No: MSSRF 23 : POACEAE

Stems erect from a stout creeping rhizome, 50-70 cm tall. Leaves unequal
sided, rigid scaberulous. Panicle 9-12 cm long with trigonous rachis.
Spikelets imbricate, chartaceous; glumes one and two short, setaceous;
glume three smooth, narrow, dorsally winged ending into a rigid awn.
Local name

: Yellu gaddi

Flowering and Fruiting : June - October


: Common near the river mouths


Fimbristylis ferruginea (L.) Vahl, Enum. Pl. 2: 291. 1805; Clarke in

Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 6: 638. 1893; Fischer in Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras
3 : 1151. 1957 (repr. ed.). Scirpus ferrugineus L. Sp. Pl. 50. 1753. Field

Perennial with creeping rhizome. Stems 20-28 cm tufted; base clothed

with rusty scales. Leaves 5-6 cm, narrow. Umbel with 4-6 spikelets,
sometimes branched; glumes puberulous below tip. Style bifid; nut
obovoid, brownish.
Local name


Flowering and Fruiting :

June - October


Common along the creeks, often associated

with Porteresia and Myriostachya


Suaeda maritima (L.) Dumort. Fl. Belg. 22, 1827; Hook. f. Fl. Brit.
India 5 : 14. 1886; Gamble, f. Fl. Pres. Madras 2 : 829. 1957 (repr. ed.).
Chenopodium maritimum L. Sp. Pl. 221. 1753. Suaeda nudiflora (Willd.)
Moq. in DC. Prodr. 13 (2) : 155. 1849; Wight, Ic. t. 1796. 1852; Hook.
f. Fl. Brit. India 5 : 14. 1886; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2 : 829. 1957
(repr. ed.). Salsola nudiflora Willd. Sp. Pl. 1 : 1313. 1798. Field No:
Erect or ascending herbs or
glabrous, woody, muchbranched, often reddishpurple. Leaves 11-35 mm
crowded, occasionally
purple-coloured. Flowers 1
mm or less across, whitishgreen, in axially clusters or
on slender, elongated
spikes, laxly arranged;
bracteoles ovate, entire,
membranous; stigmas
included. Utricles ovoid.
Seeds 0.8-1 mm in diam.,
horizontal shining, brown.

Local name

: Eelakura

Flowering and Fruiting : March - May


: Common in degraded areas and salt pans;

tender shoots used as leaf vegetable


Suaeda nudiflora (Willd.) Moq. In Ann. Sc. Nat. Ser. 23:316, 1831;
Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2:829. 1957 (repr. ed.); Roxb. Fl. Ind. ed.
Carey 60, 1832; Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 5:14, 1886; Wt. Ic. T. 1796,
1852; Haines 2:772, 1924. Salsola nudiflora Willd. Sp. Pl. 2:1313, 1799.
Banerjee et al in Mangroves, Associates and salt marshes of the Godavari
and Krishna delta, 72, 1998. Field No: MSSRF 29 : CHENOPODIACEAE

Erect or ascending perennial herbs or undershrubs, 40-80 cm tall; stems

much-branched from the woody base, glabrous, often reddish. Leaves
7-12 mm long, sessile, linear, fleshy, terere. Flowers globose, 1.5-2
mm across, white, clustered in terminal spikes; bracts leafy; bracteoles
1-2 mm long, ovate, acute, pectinate; petals 1-2 mm broad, obovoid,
transparent with transverse thickenings at apex; stamens included. Fruits
ovoid, pericarp membranous. Seeds 1-1.2 mm in diam., horizontally
arranged; testa black, shining; embryo coiled.
Local name

: Eelakura

Flowering and Fruiting : March - May


: Common in degraded areas and salt pans;

tender shoots used as leaf vegetable


Salicornia brachiata Roxb. Fl. Ind. 1 : 84. 1832; Wight, Ic. t. 738.
1844; Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 5 : 12. 1886; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2 :
828. 1957 (repr. ed.). Field No: MSSRF 38 : CHENOPODIACEAE

Erect or decumbent herbs; stems succulent, seemingly leafless, much

branched; each segment at apex forming a little cup usually with short
teeth, embracing the base of the next higher segments. Flowers minute,
usually in groups of 3, each group sunken on either side of each segment;
sterile segments usually 5-10 mm long. Fruits ovoid, utricles
membranous; seeds laterally compressed, hairy minute, white.
Flowering and Fruiting : March - May

: Common in degraded areas and in

abandoned aquafarms


Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L. Syst. Ed. 10. 1058. 1759; Clarke in

Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 2 : 659. 1879; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1 : 388.
1957 (repr. ed.). Portulaca portulacastrum L. Sp. Pl. 446. 1753. Field

Succulent, perennial herbs with long taproots; stems creeping, much

branched, greenish or red, rooting from nodes. Leaves 2-6 x 0.5-1.5
cm, lanceolate, oblanceolate or spathulate, very thick, glabrous, rounded
at apex, narrowed towards base. Flowers 5-8 mm long, deep purple or
pinkish-violet, axillary, solitary. Capsules 5-7 mm across, included
within the perianth, many seeded. Seeds black, reniform, smooth, with
long funicles.
Flowering and Fruiting :

May - July


Common in Godavari mangroves on

muddy tidal flats


Hibiscus tiliaceus L. Sp. Pl. 694. 1753; Mast. in Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India
1 : 343. 1874; Dunn in Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1 : 70. 1957 (repr. ed.).
Paritium tiliaceum (L.) St. Hil. Fl. Bras. Merid. 1 : 256. 1828; Wight,
Ic. t. 7. 1838. Field No: MSSRF 42 : MALVACEAE

Trees, 3-6 m tall; stems much branched, glabrous, close to ground level.
Leaves 5-16 X 4 - 18 cm, orbicular, crenulate, stellate beneath, acure or
acuminate at apex, cordate at base; stipules 2-3 cm long, subulate.
Flowers 7-10 cm across, campanulate, bright yellow with crimson eye
in the centre, turning bright purple when old, solitary or rarely two, on
terminal peduncles; bracteoles 5-6, lanceolate. Capsules 3-5 cm across,
ovoid, closely tomentose, splitting into 5 mericarps. Seeds black with
pale dots.
Local name

: Attakanara

Flowering and Fruiting : June-July


: Common in the landward side


Thespesia populneoides (Roxb.) Kostel. Allg. Med. Pharm. Fl. 5:1861.

1836; Fosberg and Sachet in Smithsonian Contr. Bot. 7 : 10. 1972.
Hibiscus populneoides Roxb. Fl. Ind. 3 : 181. 1832. Thespesia populnea
sensu Mast. in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 1 : 345. 1874 p.p., non (L.) Soland.
ex Correa 1807. Field No: MSSRF 43 : MALVACEAE

Trees, 3-6 m tall, young twigs covered with bronze-coloured lepidotes.

Leaves 7-10 x 5-8 cm, deltoid to cordate or subcordate with shallow
sinus at base, acuminate or caudate at apex; petioles 5-6 cm long; stipules
early caducous. Flowers 3-5 cm across, yellow, red in centre, axially,
solitary on a stout pedicel; pedicels 5-7 cm long, recurved in fruits.
Capsules 3-4 cm across, globose, depressed at both ends, exudes deep
yellow latex when young; mature fruits dehiscing apically into two
distinct layers. Seeds 6-8 mm across, ovoid, angled; angles covered
with rough clavate hairs.
Local name


Flowering and Fruiting :



Common in the landward side


Clerodendrum inerme (L.) Gaertn. Fruct. 1: 271. t. 75. 1788; Clarke in

Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 4:589. 1885; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 2 : 769.
1957 (repr. ed.); Volkameria inermis L. Sp. Pl. 637. 1753 Field No:

Straggling, much-branched shrubs 1-3 m tall; branches adpressed

pubescent when young. Leaves 1.5-6 x 1-3 cm, ovate-elliptic or oblonglanceolate, glabrous, obtuse or shallowly retuse at apex, narrowed at
base. Flowers 3-3.5 cm long, tubular, white, in terminal or axillary, 3flowered pedunculate cymes; calyx lobes minutely toothed. Drupes
1.5-2 cm long, obovoid, 4-lobed, breaking into 4 pyrenes.
Local name

: Pisingi

Flowering and Fruiting : July - November


: Common in the landward side


Tamarix troupii Hole in Ind. Forester. 14:248. 1914. T. gallica auct.

non L. 1753; Dyer in Hook. f. Fl. Brit. India 1 : 248. 1874; Brandis, For.
Fl. t. 5. 1874; Dunn in Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1 : 48. 1957 (repr. ed.).

Large shrubs, 3-4 m tall. Leaves 2-3 mm long, subulate, semiamplexicaule at base, adpressed to the younger twigs, not sheathing.
Flowers 3-4 mm across, white or pink, bisexual, in lateral and terminal,
pendulous racemose panicles. Capsules 4-5 mm across, 3-4-valved,
tapering towards the apex. Seeds 8-10, tufted, silky hairy at apex.
Local name


Flowering and fruiting

June - September


Rare, found only in Rathikalava R.F.


Banerjee, L.K. and Rao, T.A. 1990 Mangroves of Orissa coast
and their ecology. Bishen Singh Mahendra Palsingh, Dehradun,
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