3 species in Australia
Ceriops Arn. (1838) is an Indo-West Pacific genus, and member of the small pantropic family Rhizophoraceae R.Br. consisting of 16 genera and around 120 species of trees and shrubs. Four genera are found exclusively in the mangroves and all are notably viviparous including, Bruguiera, Kandelia (DC.) Wight & Arn., Rhizophora and Ceriops. Ceriops are distinguished from other Rhizophoracaeae by calyces with 5(-6) valvate, blunt lobes, 10(-12) stamens, and a fruiting drupe with viviparous propagule. The genus consists of three species, including: C. australis, C. decandra and C. tagal. All species have similar leaves which are ovate to slightly obovate or elliptic-oblong, apices rounded or slightly emarginate, never apiculate, and yellow-green in colour. All three species are found in Australia.
Derivation of Genus Name
‘Ceras-opsis’ means horn-like appearance (in Greek), and refers to the small hypocotyl emergent from fruits of this genus.
Ceriops are an Indo-West Pacific genus present in most mangrove stands from East Africa through Asia, the Malay Peninsula, the Philippines, to the south-western Pacific Islands and northern Australia.
Key to Australia's Ceriops Species
Three species of Ceriops are recognised in Australia’s mangroves across the northern coast from Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. They are distinguished by shape of petal lobes, relative length and width of the peduncle, shape of the calyx tube, and ribbing on the hypocotyl.