Sonneratia L.f.
Suppl.Pl. p38, 252. (1782)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Sonneratia L.f.

Scientific Description
H.R. Coleman and Leslie Watson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Common name. Mangroves. Family Sonneratiaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Trees. Helophytic. Leaves opposite; not decussate; leathery; petiolate; simple. Leaf blades entire; elliptic, or oblong, or ovate, or obovate, or orbicular; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves with stipules (stipules vestigial), or without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Roots. Aerial roots present.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Plants homostylous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes, or in corymbs. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal; 1–5 flowered cymes or corymbs. Flowers pedicellate; medium-sized to large; regular; cyclic; polycyclic. Free hypanthium present; campanulate (or cup-shaped), or obconic. Hypogynous disk present. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8–16; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 4–8; 1 -whorled; polysepalous; valvate; regular; persistent (leathery). Sepals elliptic, or ovate, or triangular. Corolla present, or absent; 4–8 (small); 1 -whorled; polypetalous; crumpled in bud; regular; white, or red. Petals linear. Androecial members definite in number to indefinite in number. Androecium (12–)16–100 (usually ‘many’). Androecial members branched, or unbranched; free of the perianth (on the hypanthium); all equal; free of one another; 1–4 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens (12–)16–100 (to ‘many’); all more or less similar in shape; diplostemonous to polystemonous. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 10–20 carpelled. The pistil 10–20 celled. Carpels increased in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior to partly inferior (on a broad base). Ovary plurilocular; 10–20 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; from a depression at the top of the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1; capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 10–50 per locule (‘many’); funicled; horizontal; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a berry; 15–100 seeded (‘many’). Seeds non-endospermic. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight, or curved.

Special features. Mangroves.

Etymology. After Pierre Sonnerat (1748–1814), French colonial officer who travelled in Mauritius and the Indies and sent many natural history specimens to Europe.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.
  • Australia. Bureau of Flora and Fauna (1990). Flora of Australia. Volume 18, Podostemaceae to Combretaceae. Australian Govt. Pub. Service. Canberra.