Acanthus illicifolius   Linn.  (Mangrove Plant)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Equisetopsida

Image copyrights: Jean Yong

Erect, ascending or rarely scandent up to 2 m tall. Stems with stilt roots. Leaves oblong or lanceolate, pinnatifid or toothed, always with an apical spine, narrowed at base, often with marginal spines, glabrous, shining. Flowers in terminal or pseudo-axillary dense strobilate spike, sessile; bracts ovate, acute, entire, glabrous; bracteoles 2, subtending the calyx, persistent, calyx 4-segmented, segments glabrous, shortly connate in two opposite pairs; corolla 5-segmented, segments connate, 2-lipped, hairy outside, blue or bluish violet, on the inside top with a ring of hairs; stamens with thick filaments; anthers densely bearded. Capsules ovoid-oblong, compressed, apiculate, shining.

Flowering season: April-June; Fruiting season: June-August.

Seeds are kidney shaped.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Producer


• Karnataka, Gangavali Estuary (Lat: 14.84) (Long: 74.49) INDIA
• Goa, Terekhol Estuary (Lat: 15.72) (Long: 73.7) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West Coast INDIA
• Maharashtra, Vikroli INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Pondicherry, Pondicherry mangrove (Lat: 11.76) (Long: 79.82) INDIA (Record: 01/2002-12/2003)
• Pondicherry, Pondicherry mangrove (Lat: 11.89) (Long: 79.8) INDIA (Record: 01/2002-12/2003)
• East Coast INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Dhargalkar, V and Ingole, B (2005) Survey of inventorization of coastal biodiversity at three estuarine sites along the central west coast of India 1 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Debnath, HS (2004) Mangroves of Andaman & Nicobar Islands: Taxonomy and ecology Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun, India 133 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Untawale, AG; Dhargalkar, VK and Deshmukhe, GV (2000) Prioritization of potential sites for marine biodiversity conservation in India Setting biodiversity conservation priorities for India: Summary of the findings and conclusions of the biodiversity conservation prioritization project World Wide Fund for Nature - India, New Delhi (India) Available at -
  • Chadha, S and Sekar, KC (1999) Bhitarkanika:myth and reality Nataraj publishers, Dehra Dun Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Saravanan, KR; Ilangovan, K and Khan, AB (2008) Floristic and macro faunal diversity of Pondicherry mangroves, South India Tropical Ecology International Association for Ecology, Cambridge University Press 49(1) 91-94 Available at -
  • Arkive: Images of life on earth Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-09-15

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