Common name: Sea Holly, Holly-leaved Acanthus, Holly Mangrove • Hindi: Hargoza • Marathi: मारांडी Marandi, Nivagur • Tamil: Kaludaimulli • Malayalam: Payinachhulli • Telugu: Alasyakampa • Kannada: Mulluchulli • Bengali: Kentki, Harkuchkanta • Konkani: Moramdo • Sanskrit: Harikusa
Botanical name: Acanthus ilicifolius Family: Acanthaceae (Barleria family)
These mangrove plants have 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 2m away. The plants flower
gregariously. Flowering: December-May.
Identification credit: Pravin Kawale
|Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra.|