Kankra (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza)

Kankra (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza)

Kankra, also known as Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, is a species of mangrove tree belonging to the Rhizophoraceae family. It is commonly found in intertidal zones of tropical and subtropical regions, where it plays a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem.

Taxonomy of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza:

Kingdom: Plantae

Subkingdom: Viridiplantae

Phylum: Tracheophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Malpighiales

Family: Rhizophoraceae

Genus: Bruguiera

Species: Bruguiera gymnorrhiza

Morphology of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza:

Bruguiera gymnorrhiza is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 30 meters in height. The bark of the tree is typically smooth and grayish-brown in color, with fissures and flaky patterns as it ages. The tree has a well-developed system of aerial roots called pneumatophores, which emerge from the ground and facilitate gas exchange in the oxygen-poor muddy soil.

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Leaves: The leaves of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza are simple, opposite, and elliptic to obovate in shape. They measure about 8-15 cm in length and 4-8 cm in width. The leaves have a leathery texture and are dark green on the upper surface, while the lower surface is lighter in color. They have a short petiole, a prominent midrib, and an entire margin.

Flowers: The flowers are bisexual, solitary, and occur in leaf axils. They are tubular, 2-3 cm in length, and consist of a 4-lobed calyx and 4 red or white petals that overlap at the base. The flowers have 8 stamens and a superior ovary that develops into a viviparous propagule.

Fruits: Bruguiera gymnorrhiza produces cylindrical, greenish-brown fruits called propagules. They measure about 15-30 cm in length and 1.5-2 cm in diameter. The fruit is viviparous, meaning that the embryo starts to germinate while still attached to the parent tree, developing a long hypocotyl before dropping into the water and eventually rooting in the substrate.

Bruguiera gymnorrhiza plays a critical role in mangrove ecosystems, as it provides habitat for various aquatic and terrestrial organisms, contributes to shoreline stabilization, and participates in nutrient cycling. The tree is also a source of timber, fuelwood, and traditional medicine in various cultures.

Kankra (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza), also known as Black Mangrove, Large-Leafed Mangrove, or Oriental Mangrove, is a species of mangrove tree belonging to the Rhizophoraceae family. It is native to the mangrove forests of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the western Pacific islands. Kankra trees are commonly found in coastal areas, particularly along estuaries, tidal creeks, and the landward edges of mangrove forests, where they can tolerate high levels of salinity.

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Kankra trees typically grow up to 15-20 meters in height, with some specimens reaching up to 30 meters. The tree has a straight, cylindrical trunk with smooth, grey bark that becomes fissured and rough with age. One of the most distinctive features of the Kankra tree is its knee-like or arching stilt roots, also known as pneumatophores, which emerge from the base of the trunk and provide stability in the muddy substrate of the mangroves.

The leaves of the Kankra tree are simple, opposite, and elliptical to oblong in shape, with a shiny, dark green upper surface and a lighter green underside. The tree produces small, pale green to white flowers in clusters. These flowers are bisexual and are pollinated by insects. Following pollination, the flowers develop into cigar-shaped, green fruits that turn brown as they mature. Each fruit contains a single, large seed that is dispersed by water.

Kankra trees play a vital role in the mangrove ecosystem, providing habitat and food for various species of birds, fish, and other wildlife. The extensive root system of the tree helps to prevent soil erosion, stabilize shorelines, and maintain water quality by trapping sediments and filtering pollutants.

The wood of the Kankra tree is dense, hard, and resistant to termites, making it suitable for various purposes such as construction, boat building, and the production of charcoal. The bark of the tree has been used in traditional medicine for treating various ailments, such as fever, diarrhea, and dysentery. However, the increasing demand for its wood and habitat loss due to deforestation, aquaculture expansion, and climate change has led to a decline in Kankra tree populations. Conservation efforts are necessary to protect these unique trees and the vital ecosystems they support.

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