Acanthus volubilis   Wall.  (Mangrove Plant)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Equisetopsida

Unarmed glabrous twining shrubs upto 8 m tall, stem-base supported by slender stilt-roots arising from basal nodes. Leaves 7-9 X 2.5-3 cm, oblong, ovate-oblong or elliptic, leathery, margins entire, cuneate at base, obtuse or mucronulate at apex. Flowers 1.9-2.5 cm long, arranged in 10-12 cm long spikes; spikes simple or branched; bracts lanceolate, subtending the calyx, caducous; calyx 4 lobed, shortly cuneate below in two opposite pairs, outer sepals larger than the inner sepals; corolla white, 2 lipped, connate, 5 lobed, lower lip obovate, shortly 3 lobed; stamens 4, didynamous, anthers densely bearded. Capsule ca 2.5 cm long, ellipsoid, compressed, mucronate at apex.

Rather sporadic and rare in tidal forests and swamps, growing in sheltered mangrove areas, often climbing on mangrove tree species like Avicennia officinalis and Ceriops decandra.

Flowering and fruiting from April-August.

Acanthus volubilis is easily distinguished from Acanthus ilicifolius by its twining habit,entire non-spinescent leaves and white flowers.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Hara Kancha
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(The leaves are used for dressing boils and wounds.)

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
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Oral Katchal INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Baratang INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Rutland Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Burma Nallah INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• West Bengal, Sundarban Mangrove Forest INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Banerjee, LK; Sastry, RK and Nayar MP (1989) Mangroves in India: Identification manual Botanical survey of India, Calcutta, India Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • 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
  • 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
  • Mangroves of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Available at -
  • (2002) MangroveIndia Available at -
  • Chadha, S and Sekar, KC (1999) Bhitarkanika:myth and reality Nataraj publishers, Dehra Dun Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 -
  • 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 -
  • 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:2011-11-23

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