One of the four “mangrove trees” of Florida, the magnificent red mangrove is a frequent native, that grows as a shrub or a tree to 60 feet tall. Red mangrove is found in the tidal swamps of the central and southern peninsula and Wakulla county (Wunderlin, 2003); it flowers all year.
It is easy to identify red mangrove: it grows in salt water; its evergreen leaves are dark green and shiny; it produces long, narrow, green pointed structures (actually seedlings with roots, which germinated while still attached to the tree); and red mangrove produces myriad bowed “stilt roots” that grow from the trunk and branches and can become many feet long.
The red mangrove is also native to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Kartesz, 1999), but highly invasive in Hawaii (USDA PLANTS, 2010).
View the herbarium specimen image from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.