Aegiceras corniculatum

Black Mangrove, River Mangrove or Khalsi

Family: Primulaceae

Aegiceras corniculatum grows as a shrub or small tree up to 7 metres high (but typically about 2 m) in NSW, Qld, WA and NT along the coast in tidal areas, and extending into south east Asia.

Its leaves are alternate and obovate, to 10 cm long and 5 cm wide. This helps distinguish it from the Grey Mangrove (Avicennia marina) which often grows alongside it in fresher water, which has opposite leaves. A. corniculatum does not produce the pneumataphore-roots like Avicennia. Interestingly, the two species are not related. The leaves are leathery and minutely dotted and hence resistant to insect attack.

Its fragrant, small, white flowers are produced as umbellate clusters of 10 to 30.

The fruit is curved and cylindrical or horn-shaped, light green to pink in colour as it ripens; to 75mm long. The seeds are about 5 cm long. 

In the garden

This plant attracts many moths.
It is a species unlikely to be propagated for gardens as it is found in the tidal zone.
However, attempts could be made from seed if you have a boggy soil. It would need regular watering.


Unknown but likely from seed.

Other information

Aegiceras corniculatum extract has analgesic properties which supports a fight against diabetes.

Not usually prone to burn in fire as it grows in the tidal zone. There were reports that some mangrove areas were burnt in the 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires. It is not known how they might respond. 

Aegiceras is a genus of just two species, occurring from South-East Asia, through Malesia, Australia and the Pcific Islands. NSW has only this one species. 

Aegiceras – from the Ancient Greek aegi (pertaining to “shield” as well as “goat”) and ceras (“horn”), referring to fruits of the species resembling goat horns.

corniculatum – Latin – meaning “possessing horns”, also referring to the shape of the fruit.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Aegiceras corniculatum profile page      https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Aegiceras~corniculatum 

Queensland Government – Department of Agriculture and Fisheries – River Mangrove profile page.        https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/habitats/marine-plants-including-mangroves/common-mangroves/river-mangrove 

Mangrove – Aegiceras corniculatum profile page

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.