Nypa fruticans   (Thunb.) Wurmb.  (Mangrove Plant)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Equisetopsida

Image copyrights: C. H. Lamoureux

Gregarious, stemless palms, root-stock prostrate, thick, long, branched. Leaves arising from the root-stock, pinnatisect, 5-6 m long, leaflets linear-lanceolate, plicate, 1.5-2.5 m long, waxy-glaucous underneath, with bifurcate, soft spine-like scales along the under surface of the midrib, petioles 1.5-2 m long, stout. Spathes many; spadix terminal, branched, erect in flower, drooping in fruit.
Flowers monoecious, male flowers minute, mixed with bracteoles, arranged in catkins on lateral branches of the spadix; female flowers larger, arranged in globose terminal heads. Fruits 12-16 x 6-10 cm ovoid or globose, syncarpous, with hexagonal 1-seeded carpels and pyramidal tips; pericarp fleshy, fibrous; endocarp spongy.

Often forms gregarious colonies along the sheltered intertidal regions of creeks and channels in the mangrove forests.

Flowering and fruiting from May-September.

Synonym (s)
Nipa fruticans Thunberg
(Spelling variation)

Common Name (s)
• Gulga (Bengali)
• Golpati (Bengali)
• Galrea (Bengali)
• Gulga (Hindi)
• Nipamu (Telugu)
• Water Coconut (English)
• Golpata
• Mangrove Palm (English)
• Golpatta (Bengali)
• Nypa
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Its leaves are extensively used in thatching roofs of huts and are reported to last for about 10 years. Its sap is extensively extracted for sugar, alcohol and vinegar industry. The extract of leaf and fruit is used to cure asthma, diabetes, leprosy, rheumatism and snake bites.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Over exploitation)

Habitat:  Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Producer


• West Bengal, Sundarbans INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• West Bengal INDIA
• Orissa INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, South Andaman, Sipighat INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Middle Andaman, Bamboo Tikri INDIA (Record: 09/2004-10/2004)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Andaman, Lakshmipur INDIA (Record: 11/2004-12/2004)
• West Bengal, Sundarban Mangrove Forest INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Car Nicobar Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Katchall INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nancowry INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Kathiresan, K and N, Rajendran (2005) Mangrove ecosystems of the Indian Ocean region Indian Journal of Marine Sciences National Institute of Sciences, Communication and Information Resources, CSIR, New Delhi, India in association with Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, India 34(1) 104-113 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ghosh, A; Mukherjee, S; Sen, N; Dasgupta, M and Naskar, KR (2002) Checklist of mangroves and mangrove associated species in the Indian Sundarbans Seshaiyana Environmental Information System(ENVIS)Centre, C.A.S. in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai-608 502, Tamilnadu, India 10(2) 39877 Available at - NIO, RC, Kochi
  • Kumudranjan, N; Rathindranath, M (1999) Ecology and biodiversity of Indian Mangroves Daya publishing house 1 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Banerjee, LK; Sastry, RK and Nayar MP (1989) Mangroves in India: Identification manual Botanical survey of India, Calcutta, India Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at - http://www.itis.gov.
  • Rajendra N and Sanjeevi SB (2004) Flowering plants and fern in mangrove ecosystems of India: An identification manual ENVIS centre, Annamalai University, Parangipettai, Tamil Nadu, India. 110 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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
  • (2002) MangroveIndia Available at - http://www.mangroveindia.org
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Botany University of Hawai'i at Manoa Available at - http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/
  • Chadha, S and Sekar, KC (1999) Bhitarkanika:myth and reality Nataraj publishers, Dehra Dun Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Veenakumari, K; Mohanraj, P and Bandyopadhyay, AK (1997) Insect herbivores and their natural enemies in the mangals of the Andaman and Nicobar islands Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis Ltd 31 1105-1126 Available at - http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ftinterface~db=all~content=a770600286~fulltext=713240930?words=insect,herbivores,their,natural,enemies,mangals,andaman,nicobar,islands
  • Santhanakumar, J; Nazar, AKA; Vinithkumar, NV and Kirubagaran, R (2010) Fattening of mud crab: an approach of aquasilviculture in Andaman Islands Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Cochin 52(1) 85-88 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/5836/1/10.San.pdf
  • Kathiresan, K and Rajendran, N (2005) Grow mangroves for protecting coral reefs! Proceedings of the National Seminar on Reef Ecosystem Remediation SDMRI Special Research Publication No.9 41-48 Available at - http://www.sdmri.org/reports/proceedings%202005%20-%20sdmri.pdf
  • Kumar, VS (2005) An overview of mangroves in Andamans and its significance in maintenance of natural ecosystem Proceedings of the National Seminar on Reef Ecosystem Remediation SDMRI Special Research Publication No.9 200-212 Available at - http://www.sdmri.org/reports/proceedings%202005%20-%20sdmri.pdf
  • Mandal, RN and Naskar, KR (2008) Diversity and classification of Indian mangroves: a review Tropical Ecology International Society for Tropical Ecology 49(2) 131-146 Available at - http://www.tropecol.com/pdf/open/PDF_49_2/05%20Mandal.pdf
  • Jagtap, T.G. (1992) Marine flora of Nicobar group of islands in Andaman Sea. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences National Institute of Science Communication & Information Resources 21(1) 56-58 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Banerjee, LK and Roa, TA (2001) Flora of the Mahanadi Delta, Orissa Botanical Survey of India 1-307 Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2011-11-24

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