Acanthus ilicifolius   Linnaeus  (Mangrove Plant)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Equisetopsida

Erect or rarely scandent perennial shrubs up to 2 m tall; stems several, stout, glabrous, base with stilt roots. Leaves glabrous, shining, 5-11 x 3-8 cm, various, usually ovate-oblong, elliptic or ovate-lanceolate, pinnatifid or toothed, rigid, narrowed at base, obtusely spinous at apex, marginal teeth spinous, nerves strong. Flowers in terminal spikes. Flowers sessile, 3.5-4cm long, in terminal or pseudo-axillary densely strobilate spike; bracts 1-2 cm long, acute, ovate, glabrous; calyx 4 segmented, lobes glabrous, shortly connate in two opposite pairs; corolla 5 segmented,3-4 cm long, blue or bluish violet, segments connate, 2 lipped, hairy outside; stamens with thick filaments, anthers densely bearded. Capsule ovoid-oblong, up to 3 cm long, compressed, apiculate, brown, shining. Seeds 4.

The species is easily recognisable in the field from its holy-like leaves and attractive bluish flowers. Gregarious along the tidal swamps in the sheltered mangrove areas, mostly as a secondary formation. Rarely seen in freshwater indicating its ecological amplitude and tolerance. Flowering and fruiting from April-August.

They are considered as mangrove associates as they lack typical adaptations such as pneumatophores and vivipary.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Hargoza (Hindi)
• Marandi (Marathi)
• Alsi (Telugu)
• Akhi (Telugu)
• Sea Holly (English)
• Holly Mangrove (English)
• Haraguja
• Hara Kancha
• Allichi
• Aartrumul
• Chulli
• Marandi
• Kantali
• Uppuchulli (Malayalam)
• Muthalachulli (Malayalam)
• Pannichulli (Malayalam)
• Vayalchulli (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fruit pulp is used as a blood purifier and leaf paste in rheumatism. Fruit used in asthma, as aphrodisiac. Fruit, leaf, root used to cure diabetes, diuretic, dyspepsia, hepatitis and leprosy. Bark, fruit, leaf used to cure neuralgia, paralysis, ringworms, skin disease, stomach pains and snake bites. Local people use this plant to cure mumps. The leaves of this plant are made into paste and are applied to affected areas. Flowers of this plant is are offered by teenage girls to kamadeva during pooram festival to get good spouses.)
Threats:  Natural threats

Trophic Level:  Producer
IUCN Status:  Endangered


• West Bengal, Prentice Island (Lat: 22.08) (Long: 89.13) INDIA
• Karnataka INDIA
• Maharashtra INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA
• West Bengal, Sundarbans INDIA
• West Bengal INDIA
• Orissa INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Goa, Mandovi and Zuari Estuary INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vashista estuary INDIA (Record: 02/2009-01/2010)
• Andhra Pradesh, Vainateyam estuary INDIA (Record: 02/2009-01/2010)
• West Bengal, Medinipur (Lat: 21.5) (Long: 87.08) INDIA (Record: 07/2000-06/2002)
• West Bengal, Medinipur (Lat: 22.03) (Long: 88.08) INDIA (Record: 07/2000-06/2002)
• Maharashtra, Uran Creek (Lat: 20.48) (Long: 77.53) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi Backwaters INDIA
• Maharashtra, Sindhudurg INDIA
• Maharashtra, Ratnagiri INDIA
• Maharashtra, Raigarh INDIA
• Maharashtra, Thane INDIA
• Maharashtra, Mumbai INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, South Andaman INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Ritchies Archipelago INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Baratang INDIA
• Maharashtra, Achra INDIA
• Karnataka, Udyavara Mangrove INDIA (Record: 10/1999, 03/2000)
• Pondicherry (Lat: 11.7) (Long: 76.6) INDIA
• Pondicherry, Karaikal (Lat: 10.81) (Long: 79.71) INDIA
• Pondicherry, Karaikal (Lat: 11.01) (Long: 79.86) INDIA
• Pondicherry (Lat: 12.5) (Long: 79.88) INDIA
• Pondicherry, Mahe (Lat: 11.7) (Long: 75.51) INDIA
• Pondicherry, Mahe (Lat: 11.71) (Long: 75.55) INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Yanam (Lat: 16.7) (Long: 82.18) INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Yanam (Lat: 16.76) (Long: 82.31) INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA (Record: 2006-2008)
• Gujarat, Purna Estuary (Lat: 20.88) (Long: 72.73) INDIA (Record: 2006-2008)
• Gujarat, Purna Estuary (Lat: 21.01) (Long: 72.91) INDIA (Record: 2006-2008)
• Andhra Pradesh, Nuvvalarevu Mangrove INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Bhavanapadu Mangrove INDIA
• Goa, Mandovi estuary INDIA
• Maharashtra, Manori INDIA
• Orissa, Dhamra Estuary INDIA
• Orissa, Subarnarekha Mangrove Forest INDIA
• West Bengal, Sundarban Mangrove Forest INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika Mangrove Forest INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Godavari and Krishna Delta INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram Mangrove Estuary INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi Estuary INDIA
• Karnataka, Kundapura INDIA
• Goa, Zuari Estuary INDIA
• Gujarat, Bhavnagar Estuary INDIA
• Kerala, Poyya (Lat: 10.21) (Long: 76.23) INDIA
• Kerala, Koshavankunnu INDIA (Record: 4/2008-/2008)
• Kerala, Chenthurutti INDIA
• Orissa, Mahanadi Delta INDIA
• Orissa, Paradeep INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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Page last updated on:2011-11-23

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