Plant Guide > Trees > Mangroves > White Mangrove or Buttonwood Tree

White Mangrove or Buttonwood Tree

White Mangrove or Buttonwood TreeThe White Mangrove, or Buttonwood (Laguncularia racemosa, Gaertn.), is not a true mangrove at all; it belongs in a different botanical family, and is related to the aralias.

It mingles with the mangroves, but lacks the aerial roots characteristic of the latter. The foliage is red when it unfolds, becoming dark green and glossy.

The flowers are small, in axillary spikes. The fruit is a flask-shaped, 1-seeded drupe with corky flesh and leathery skin. The wood is hard and dark brown, except for the wide white sap wood.

The bark is rich in tannic acid, and were the trees located in less miasmic regions they would soon be cut down for the bark alone.

The buttonwood the Floridian esteems as a fuel tree is Conocarpus erecta, Linn., whose flowers and fruits are button-like. It is also esteemed for its bark which yields tannin and a tonic drug.