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Ceriops pseudodecandra

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Photo: F.Zich © CSIRO

Common Names

Clumped Yellow Mangrove ( [1]), Rib-fruited Spur Mangrove ( [2]).


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Photo: F.Zich © CSIRO

Name Reference

Ceriops pseudodecandra Sheue, H.Y.Liu, C.C.Tsai & Yuen P.Yang

Origin of Name

‘Ceras-opsis’ means horn-like appearance (in Greek), and refers to the small hypocotyl emergent from fruits of this genus.

Pseudo’ implies this species has been mistaken for C. decandra. ‘Dec-andra’ means ten male parts (in Latin), and refers to the ten anthers present in the ‘parent’ species ( [3]).


Ceriops pseudodecandra is a shrub or small tree growing to 15 m with short buttresses, stout peduncles and ribbed hypocotyls. It occurs along the northern shoreline of Australia from Darwin, to Hinchinbrook Channel, QLD.

Species Feature - Fruit with swollen calyx and stout pedicles ( [3]).


Columnar or multi-stemmed tree or shrub growing to 15 m high. The trunk has stout flanged buttresses with looped surface roots sometimes developing.

The leaves are opposite, glossy green in colour, obovate to elliptic-oblong in shape, with a rounded apex, 3 - 10 cm long and 1.3 - 6 cm wide with a 0.7-2 cm long petiole. Stipules are paired and flattened, to 1 - 3 cm long with a rounded apex.

The inflorescence is a dense cluster of 2-5 small flowers. Flowers are yellowish-green to orangy-red, up to 5 mm long. Petals are creamy white, becoming brown with age. The fruit is an inverted pear-shaped drupe, 1-2 cm long, 0.8 cm wide, seated in a swollen calyx tube with erect or ascending lobes. The species is viviparous, with the hypocotyl (dispersal propagule) emerging from the end of the fruit. The hypocotyl is slender, green, ribbed and 6 - 27 cm long and 0.8 cm wide ( [4], [1], [2], [5], [6], [7] [as C. decandra]).

Botanical Description


Tree or shrub to 15 m, multi-stemmed or columnar, often undercanopy, evergreen; bark grey-white to orange-brown, smooth with scattered pustular lenticels; stem base with stout flanged buttresses; roots sometimes developed as looped surface roots.


Leaves opposite, simple, flatish, ovate to elliptic-oblong, glossy green, finely coriaceous, 4.5-10 cm L, 2.5-6 cm W, margin entire, apex obtuse-rounded, base cuneate; petiole terete, green, to 2 cm L; stipules paired, flattened, pale green, to 1-3 cm L, apex rounded, enclosing terminal bud.


Inflorescence axillary, 3-5-flowered, bifurcating, dense; peduncle 0.5-1 cm L, 0.6 cm W; flowers erect, yellowish-green to orangy-red, to 5 mm L; calyx tube shortly turbinate, smooth, with 5 oblong erect lobes longer than tube, 3-5 mm L; petals 5, creamy white becoming brown with age, oblong, 3 mm L, fringe-like, divided at apex; stamens 10, uniformly spaced, 1-4 mm L; style slender, 1-2 mm L; fruit inverted pear-shaped drupe, brown, finely coriaceous, 1-2 cm L, 0.8 cm W, seated in swollen calyx tube, lobes erect or ascending; germination viviparous, hypocotyl emergent from distal end of fruit during maturation; maturation indicated by distinct cotyledonary collar prior to abscission.


Hypocotyl pencil-like but tapered, slender, green, ribbed, to 27 cm L, 0.8 cm W, distil tip bluntly pointed, distal half widest, buoyant.

( [3]).


Ceriops pseudodecandra is widely distributed from India and Sri Lanka from Asia to New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and northern Australia. In Australia, the species is found in coastal areas along the northern shoreline from Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory (12° 25' S, 130° 48’ E) in the west, to Deluge Inlet, Hinchinbrook Channel, Queensland (18° 25' S, 146° 13’ E) in the east ( [3]).

Localities (not complete):
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Photo: F.Zich © CSIRO


This species appears to prefer low light conditions where its foliage is often darker green with larger flat leaves. It is not restricted to this habit however, and the species can also on occasion form canopy trees. Generally, C. pseudodecandra does not form extensive monotypic stands, but prefers mixed forests( [3]). Can be found scattered throughout mangrove forests, but more commonly found on the landward margin of tidal waterways. Prefers sand or mud substrates ( [2] [as C. decandra]).

High-mid intertidal, intermediate estuarine position ( [3]).


Often growing as a multi-stemmed shrub under taller, closed canopies of Bruguiera parviflora, Xylocarpus and other species ( [1]). Associates include: Rhizophora spp., Bruguiera spp., Camptostemon schultzii and Avicennia marina ( [2] [as C. decandra]).

In Australia, flowering peaks from September to December, and propagule maturation occurs in December ( [3]).

The floral mechanism of C. pseudodecandra appears less specialised than other Ceriops since the stamens are not enclosed at anthesis, and there is no explosive release of pollen ( [3]).

Biological Interactions
Group Taxon
  29 taxa
Vascular Plants Acanthus ilicifolius
Vascular Plants Acrostichum speciosum
Vascular Plants Aegialitis annulata
Vascular Plants Aegiceras corniculatum
Vascular Plants Avicennia marina
Vascular Plants Bruguiera cylindrica
Vascular Plants Bruguiera exaristata
Vascular Plants Bruguiera gymnorhiza
Vascular Plants Bruguiera parviflora
Vascular Plants Bruguiera_sexangula
Vascular Plants Bruguiera spp.
Vascular Plants Camptostemon schultzii
Vascular Plants Ceriops tagal
Vascular Plants Cynometra iripa
Vascular Plants Excoecaria agallocha
Vascular Plants Heritiera littoralis
Vascular Plants Hibiscus tiliaceus
Vascular Plants Lumnitzera littorea
Vascular Plants Lumnitzera racemosa
Vascular Plants Osbornia octodonta
Vascular Plants Rhizophora apiculata
Vascular Plants Rhizophora X lamarckii
Vascular Plants Rhizophora mucronata
Vascular Plants Rhizophora stylosa
Vascular Plants Rhizophora spp.
Vascular Plants Sonneratia caseolaris
Vascular Plants Xylocarpus granatum
Vascular Plants Xylocarpus moluccensis
Vascular Plants Xylocarpus spp.


Wood is used for boat keels and pigsties in Vietnam. The lower half of the hypocotyl is used as a fishing line in Indonesia ( [2] [as C. decandra]) .

Similar Species

Ceriops can be distinguished from other genera in the Rhizophoraceae family by the number of calyx lobes (5). Bruguiera spp. have 8-15 calyx lobes while Rhizophora spp. have 4.

Ceriops species are difficult to tell apart without flowers or mature fruit. C. pseudodecandra can be distinguished from other Ceriops species by its short, stout peduncles (peduncle length = width) and fringe-like, rather than lobed, petal tip ( [1], [5] [as C. decandra]).

Further diagnostic characters include: petals not enclosing stamens at anthesis; stamens in a single series; petal apices with fringing filamentous appendages; stamens with short filaments less than or equal to the anthers. Stems are also recognised often by their knobbly twigs due to swollen leaf scar nodes ( [3]).

For illustration and further description of the above distinguishing characters see Mangrove Watch Australia: http://www.mangrovewatch.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=36&Itemid=300174

Mangrove Watch: http://www.mangrovewatch.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=36&Itemid=300174 [as C. decandra]

WoRMS: http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=235087 [as C. decandra]

-- NormDuke and EmmaClifton - 2012-07-19 - 16:19

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Photo: F.Zich © CSIRO
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Photo: F.Zich © CSIRO


  1. Duke, N.C. (2006). Australia's Mangroves. The authoritative guide to Australia's mangrove plants. University of Queensland, Brisbane. (more)
  2. Wightman, G. (2006). Mangroves of the Northern Territory, Australia: identification and traditional use. Northern Territory. Dept. of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, Palmerston. (more)
  3. Duke, N. (2011). Mangroves of Australia. Manuscript. Vers.: 27 Sept 2011. (more)
  4. Lovelock, C. (1993). Field Guide to the Mangroves of Queensland. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Qld. Available online: http://www.aims.gov.au/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=c9dcfc2e-6018-4302-8818-5ab3fe01f91f&groupId=30301 (more)
  5. Wightman, G. (2006b). Mangrove Plant Identikit from north Australia's Top End. Greening Australia NT, Darwin. (more)
  6. !McCusker, A. (1984). Rhizophoraceae. Flora of Australia. 22: 1-10. (Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.) (more)
  7. Ding Hou (1958). Rhizophoraceae. Flora Malesiana. Ser. 1, Vol. 5, (P. Noordhoff Ltd: Groningen.), pp. 429-493. (more)
  8. Bunt, J.S. (1982b). Mangrove Transect Data from Northern Queensland. Coastal Studies Series, Australian Institute of Marine Science AIMS-CS-82-1. Australian Institute of Marine Science. 41 p. Available online: http://data.aims.gov.au/extpubs/attachmentDownload?docID=2326 (more)
  9. Bunt, J.S. (1997). The Mangrove Floral and Vegetational Diversity of Hinchinbrook Island and the Adjacent Coast. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville. Available online: http://data.aims.gov.au/extpubs/attachmentDownload?docID=3018 (more)

Biological Interactions
Relation Taxon GroupSorted ascending
OccursWith Acanthus_ilicifolius Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Acrostichum_speciosum Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Aegialitis_annulata Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Aegiceras_corniculatum Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Avicennia_marina Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Bruguiera_cylindrica Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Bruguiera_exaristata Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Bruguiera_gymnorhiza Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Bruguiera_parviflora Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Bruguiera_sexangula Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Camptostemon_schultzii Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Ceriops_australis Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Ceriops_tagal Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Cynometra_iripa Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Excoecaria_agallocha Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Heritiera_littoralis Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Hibiscus_tiliaceus Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Lumnitzera_littorea Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Lumnitzera_racemosa Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Osbornia_octodonta Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Rhizophora_X_lamarckii Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Rhizophora_mucronata Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Rhizophora_stylosa Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Sonneratia_caseolaris Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Xylocarpus_granatum Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Xylocarpus_moluccensis Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Bruguiera Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Rhizophora_apiculata Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Rhizophora Vascular_Plants
OccursWith Xylocarpus Vascular_Plants