Sonneratia alba

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment and Biodiversity; Conservation; Endangered species 


  • Maharashtra first Indian state to declare state mangrove tree as symbol of conservation 
  • Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) cleared a proposal to declare Sonneratia alba as the State mangrove tree and approved a recovery programme for the Arabian Sea Humpback Whale


  • The move helps to enhance conservation of the salt-tolerant vegetation 
  • Ecological importance of mangroves and biodiversity it hosts 
  • Adds aesthetic value to the mangrove ecosystem 

About Sonneratia alba 

  • Sonneratia alba or mangrove apple is an evergreen mangrove species found along the Maharashtra’s coastline  
  • Sonneratia alba grow up to five feet and bear white flowers with a pink base as well as green fruits, that resemble apple and are used to make pickles. 
  • The flowers, which bloom at night, are pollinated by nocturnal creatures like bats. 
  • The species was introduced in Maharashtra and is native to Andaman Islands. 


  • They often grow on newly-formed mudflats and play an important role in combating land erosion. 
  • They are confined to the west coast and some parts of Orissa. 
  • It is found along wetlands in Thane creek, Bhandup, Vasai and Dombivli along major mudflats. 
  • Sonneratia alba grows naturally in many tropical and subtropical areas from East Africa to the Indian subcontinent, southern China, the Ryukyu Islands, Indochina, Malesia, Papuasia, Australia and the Western Pacific region. 

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