Sea Holly is a mangrove plant which has leaves
which look like the spiny holly leaves. In fact, not all the leaves
have the spiny edges that give them their common name. Leaves growing
the deep shade can be totally spineless. Unlike some mangrove plants,
Sea Holly do not exclude salt at the root level. In fact, their sap is
salty and excess salt is secreted through the leaves, to be removed by
rain or wind. Sometimes, the salt can be seen as a white crystalline
layer on the upper surface. The plant produces a cluster of flowers
which appear in neatly organized spikes at branch tips. Flowers have a
single large petal large, showy and light violet. When the pods ripen,
they explode to propel the seeds up to 2 m away. The plants flower
gregariously. Flowering: December-May.
Identification credit: Pravin Kawale
Photographed in Alibag & Mumbai, Maharashtra.
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The flower labeled Sea Holly is ...