If you have ever been to the tropics or subtropics, you may well have spotted mangrove trees in coastal areas. My interest in these trees was sparked from watching a nature show called “Our Big Blue Backyard” on NZ TV. Whenever the tide goes out, you can see their roots poking out of the ocean floor as they breathe air (all of the “spikes” sticking out of the beach). The trees normally cluster very close together in an impenetrable spread so I was pleased to get one on its own to show you. They harbour a huge amount of life and many fish come in at high tide. There are also birds here such as the Starling shown…I have even seen ducks swimming in amongst them!
That in itself is amazing, but the journey the seeds make is even more so. They are cast into the ocean and are carried by currents back to shore elsewhere. Before hitting dry land a root springs out of the seed (which is maybe an inch long) with the intention of attaching itself and then having a short time to start to grow to get above the high tide and establishing itself in a new mangrove swamp. They really are incredible plants. There are tiny barnacles clustered on them as you can see on the photo of the baby tree which has just started life.