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(Red Mangrove family)


• Medicinal / Folk-medicinal aspects: Reports of the traditional use of these mangroves in the treatment of skin ailments are sparse but are seemingly linked mainly to the presence of tannins in the bark and leaves. •
• Adverse effects: Red propolis reportedly produced by bees from an exudate of a Rhizophora species has been shown to act as a contact sensitiser in experimental animals. Beekeepers working in the locality of these mangrove trees are therefore at risk. •
• Veterinary aspects: •

According to Mabberley (2017), this is a family of about 125 species of trees and shrubs in 15 genera found in tropical regions, often in a saline coastal habitat known as mangrove forest or mangal. Some provide useful timber. The principal genus is Cassipourea Aubl.

Anopyxis klaineana Engl.
(syns Anopyxis ealaensis Sprague, Macarisia klaineana Pierre, Pynaertia ealaensis De Wild.)

This West African tree is the source of a timber of commerce known variously as bodioa, bobenkusu, white oak, and by other names. The astringent bark and the leaves are applied to sores and skin affections in Liberia (Irvine 1961).

Bruguiera sexangula Poir.
(syns Bruguiera australis A.Cunn. ex Arn., Bruguiera eriopetala Wight & Arn., Rhizophora sexangula Lour.)
Oriental Mangrove

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Carallia brachiata Merr.
(syns Carallia integerrima DC., Carallia lucida Roxb., Carallia madagascariensis Tul., Diatoma brachiata Lour., etc.)
Freshwater Mangrove, Billabong Tree, Corkwood, False Kelat, Maniawiga

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Carallia suffruticosa Ridl.
(syn. Carallia fascicularis Guillaumin)

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Cassipourea congoensis R.Br. ex DC.
(syns Anstrutheria africana Benth., Cassipourea africana Benth., Weihea africana Oliv.)

This species, which is endemic to Africa, grows as a shrub but sometimes a small tree of 3–5 m high on forest river banks. It is distributed across Senegal to Nigeria and easterly across the Congo basin to Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi. Both the roots and the bark of the plant are used locally in skin-lightening preparations. Extracts of the roots have yielded two compounds that inhibit melanin production in in vitro assays, a cycloartane triterpenoid and 7-methoxygeranin A, a proanthocyanidin (Takou et al. 2019).

Cassipourea flanaganii Alston
(syn. Weihea flanaganii Schinz)
Onionwood, Cape Onionwood, umMemezi

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Ceriops tagal C.B.Rob.
(syns Ceriops candolleana Arn., Rhizophora tagal Perr., Rhizophora timoriensis DC.)
Yellow Mangrove, Tagal Mangrove, Tangal

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Gynotroches axillaris Blume
(syns Gynotroches lanceolata Merr., Gynotroches puberula Merr., Microtropis coriacea Wall.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Rhizophora mangle L.
(syn. Rhizophora americana Nutt.)
Red Mangrove, American Mangrove

Irvine (1961) noted that the bark of red mangroves is rich in tannin and strongly astringent, and that it is used [in West Africa] to check haemorrhage. He noted further that the pulverised bark is rubbed into scarified skin for treating leprosy or boiled to prepare a lotion for treating craw-craw.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]

Rhizophora mucronata Poir.
(syns Rhizophora longissima Blanco, Rhizophora macrorrhiza Griff.)
Asiatic Mangrove, Loop Root Mangrove, Red Mangrove, Thai Mangrove, True Mangrove

[Information available but not yet included in database]


  • Irvine FR (1961) Woody Plants of Ghana. With special reference to their uses. London: Oxford University Press [doi] [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
  • Mabberley DJ (2017) Mabberley's Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses, 4th edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [WorldCat] [doi] [url]
  • Takou DM, Waffo AFK, Langat MK, Wansi JD, Mulcahy-Ryan LE, Schwikkard SL, Opara EI, Mas-Claret E, Mulholland DA (2019) Melanin production inhibitors from the West African Cassipourea congoensis. Planta Medica International Open 6(2): e50-e56 [doi] [url] [url-2]
  • [ + 16 further references not yet included in database]

Richard J. Schmidt

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