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Scale bar 10mm. Copyright CSIRO
Fruit. Copyright W. T. Cooper
Flowers. Copyright CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. Copyright CSIRO
Seedling with 6 leaves. Copyright CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, hypogeal germination. Copyright CSIRO
10th leaf stage. Copyright CSIRO
Heritiera littoralis Aiton
Aiton, W. (1789) Hortus Kewensis 3: 546. Type: Nat. of the East India Islands: Zeylon, J. G. Koenig, M.D. Pulo Condore. Mr. Dav. Nelson. Introd. 1780, by Sir Joseph Banks, Bart.
Looking-glass Mangrove; Lookingglass Tree; Beach Tulip Oak; Red Mangrove; Tulip Mangrove; Looking Glass Tree
Leaf blade rather large, about 14-29 x 7-13 cm, silvery white to dull, pale brown on the underside (stellate-scaly), very abruptly narrowed into a comparatively short petiole. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Pores just visible with the naked eye in the twig pith.
Fruiting carpel ellipsoid, about 5-10 x 3-6 cm, surface smooth, keeled on one side, but not winged. Seed surrounded by a fibrous pericarp about 5-10 mm thick, testa +/- fleshy. Cotyledons +/- globular, about 20-25 mm diam.
First pair of leaves linear, base auriculate, lower surface white or silvery from numerous flat scales. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elongate-elliptic to linear, apex acuminate, base auriculate, upper surface with scattered brown or silvery scales, lower surface white or silvery from numerous scales; petiole, terminal bud and stem clothed in brown scales.
Distribution and Ecology
Occurs in CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range quite small, normally at or slightly above sea level. Grows on the edge of mangrove forest. Also occurs in Africa, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.
Food plant for the larval stages of the Common Oakblue Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).
This species may have medicinal properties. (http://squid2.laughingsquid.net/hosts/herbweb.com /herbage/A13062.htm)
The leaves of this species are regarded as a contraceptive. Cribb (1981).