Looking Glass Mangrove
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Looking Glass Mangrove
E Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Looking Glass Mangrove, Sundarban mangrove, tulip mangrove • Bengali: সুন্দরী sundari • Kannada: ಚಂದ ಮರ chanda mara • Malayalam: മുകുരം mukuram • Marathi: सुंदरी sundari • Oriya: ସୁନ୍ଦରୀ sundari • Tamil: சொன்முந்திரி conmuntiri, சுந்தரி cuntari, கண்ணாடியிலை kannati-y-ilai
Botanical name: Heritiera littoralis    Family: Sterculiaceae (Cacao family)
Synonyms: Amygdalus litoralis, Balanopteris tothila, Heritiera littoralis subsp. littoralis

Looking Glass Mangrove grows along the seashore in India, SE Asia and Tropical Africa. It is found in abundance in Sundarban, which probably got its name from this tree, locally known as Sundari. It is a tree growing to 5-15 m tall. The leaves are oblong-ovate to elliptic-ovate and 10-20 cm long. The tip is pointed or blunt, the base is usually rounded, the upper surface smooth and shining, and the lower surface densely covered with small, round, pale or silvery-white scales. The flowers are numerous, yellowish-green, bell-shaped, about 5 mm long, usually 5-toothed and borne on hairy panicles 7-15 cm long. The fruit is hard and shining, woody, smooth, broadly boat-shaped, 4-8 cm long, and keeled.

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé, Shrikant Ingalhalikar Photographed at Sindhudurg coast, Maharashtra & Bangalore.

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