Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Black Mangrove
Avicennia germinans

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Avicennia (av-ih-SEN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: germinans (JER-min-ans) (Info)

Synonym:Avicennia africana
Synonym:Avicennia elliptica
Synonym:Avicennia floridana
Synonym:Avicennia lamarckiana
Synonym:Avicennia meyeri

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Blooms all year


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral frostweed On Jan 3, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Black Mangrove Avicennia germinans is native to Texas and other States.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Nov 2, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This species is the most cold-tolerant of the three mangrove species found on Florida's coasts and can grow as far north as Flagler County (just south of Jacksonville Beach) on the east coast of Florida and occasionally as far north as Pensacola on Florida's gulf coast. However, the species is rarely found that far north and is much more common in it's main distribution in Florida, from Cedar Keys and St. Augustine southward through the Keys. This species is slightly less salt-tolerant than the Red Mangrove or Rhizophora mangle (see my comment on it) and usually grows farther inland than it, but not as far inland as the White Mangrove and Buttonwood. This species differs from the Red Mangrove by lacking the other specie's familiar prop roots and by having smaller leaves than R. mangle. Instead, the species propagates and "breathes" air by using breathing roots or dead man's fingers, sticking up out of the wet, salty or brackish soil in dense clusters surrounding the Black Mangrove trees. Like the Red Mangrove, a great native tree for wildlife and for along coasts and for storm protection!

Positive Kylecawaza On Aug 22, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

These are the hardiest genus of mangroves. In the late 60's someone planted its relative Avicennia Marina in Mission Bay San Diego, and it began to take over. It owuld be an excellent pond plant though since mangroves are adapted to fresh and salt water, although their natural way of distribution usually only allows them to be in saltwater. I will try some of these in San Francisco as well. They naturally occur all the way up to Louisiana.

Positive amorning1 On Sep 25, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

Endangered, Don't get caught "harvesting" seeds.

Neutral Floridian On Oct 11, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

The Black Mangrove grows throughout tropical America, as well as subtropical areas where other mangroves will not grow. This is because the Black Mangrove is capable of withstanding freezing temperatures for up to 12 hours. During high tide, these plants may be partially submerged. The thing that sets Black Mangroves apart from other mangroves is the long heavy roots which grow extensions (pneumatophores) that aid in gas exchange and coincidentally trap silt to extend the shoreline. Seeds mature and germinate on the tree and then fall to the mud.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Beverly Hills, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Cape Canaveral, Florida
Islamorada, Florida

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