Mangroves (Rhizophora Mucronata)
There are many different mangroves. Rhizophora is one of the commonest of them. It is a small evergreen fibrous tree, sending down numerous aerial roots. The lower portion of trunk dies early and tree remains propped upon numerous still roots (breathing roots). They thrive in the tidal forests forming mangroves on both the eastern and western coasts.
The wood is fit only for making handles, mallet head etc is a good fuel. The bark is used for tanning and also for dyeing and strengthening fishing nets. The interesting thing about this tree is its pods. Due to regular and periodic inundation, the seeds do not have a chance to germinate. Hence nature has endowed it with a unique scheme. The pods are developed on the plants themselves and shape itself like mini crowbar. It drops vertically into the oozing mud and water and start growing there. Mangroves are an interesting group of plants which help many marine creatures to spawn. There are more than 33 kinds of mangroves all over the world and the Sunderbans in West Bengal is the biggest of among all of them with an area 0f 300 sq km. The Sunderbans in West Bengal is the home of the Bengal tiger and the saltwater crocodile.