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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Rhizophora mangle L. (Mangle)

Nomenclature etc. RHIZOPHORACEAE. Trade and local names: mangle colorado, mangle rojo (sAm). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 5 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical South America.

General. Heartwood basically brown red. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour (sapwood yellowish, greyish, or pinkish). Density 0.8–1 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, exclusively solitary. Average tangential vessel diameter 70–96 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 14–25. Average vessel element length 869–1064 µm. Perforation plates scalariform, with 2–10 bars. Intervessel pits scalariform. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, horizontal to vertical. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present.

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Average fibre length 1495–2185 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered or distinctly bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty to vasicentric. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 5–8.

Rays. Rays 5–7 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 3 cells wide. Height of large rays commonly over 1000 µm. Rays composed of two or more cell types (heterocellular). Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells or with more than 4 marginal rows of upright or square cells.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in ray cells. Crystal-containing ray cells procumbent. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Silica not observed.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; basically colourless to brown or shade of brown. Ethanol extract not fluorescent. Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Rhizophora mangle. • Tangential section. Rhizophora mangle. • Tangential section. Rhizophora mangle. Heartwood often with tyloses. • Radial section. Rhizophora mangle. • Miscellaneous. Rhizophora mangle. Intervascular pits scalariform (left); vessel perforations scalariform with few thick bars (right).


The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2000 onwards. Commercial timbers: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Version: 25th June 2009. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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