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Maytenus phyllanthoides
Sweet Mangrove, Mangle Dulce

CELASTRACEAE (Staff Tree Family)

Sweet Mangrove is placed into the genus Tricerma by some authors.

Photo of leaves and fruit of  Maytenus phyllanthoides (Sweet Mangrove), Norm Roberts


Sweet Mangrove is a large shrub or small tree that grows 2 to 4 m (6-12 feet) tall and has light gray mature bark and reddish brown stems. The leathery obovate leaves are 2-4 cm (1-2 inches) long. The few flowers produced in April to November are approximately 1.5 cm (3/4 or an inch) and are not showy. The seeds are embedded in a bright red fleshy aril.

Range and Habitat

This mangrove species grows from Bahía Magdalena and Bahía de los Angeles south, and on the Gulf of California islands.

Photo of Maytenus phyllanthoides (Sweet Mangrove), Norm Roberts

Natural History

Sweet Mangrove grows farther from the water's edge than the other mangroves. It can even be found at some distance from the water, though it is greatly stunted. Occasionally it is seen inland on saline soils.

Text by Bob Lauri and Judy Gibson
Sweet Mangrove — photos by Norman C. Roberts

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