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Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks: The Story of New Zealand Plants

Mangrove Forest

Mangrove Forest

Mangrove is the term applied to a number of small trees, mostly tropical, which grow between the tides in shallow seas bordering sheltered coasts. In New Zealand we have only one species, Avicennia resinifera. The derivation of the species' name is interesting; it was applied by the botanists on Cook's first voyage, in the mistaken belief that the bits of floating kauri gum they observed came from nearby mangroves.

Like the kauri, the mangrove is restricted to the warmest part of the country reaching the Bay of Plenty in the east and Kawhia in the west. Towards its southern limits it is no more than a shrub, but further north the mangrove can be a tree up to 10 m high forming low forests with a close canopy. For the most part these forests contain no other species of flowering plants.