Evergreen mangrove shrub or tree 0.5-12 m, often simple ‘peg-root’ pneumatophores. Leaves coriaceous or somewhat succulent, elliptic to oblong-elliptic, 3-12 x 2-6 cm, apex obtuse to rounded or sometimes retuse, base rounded to obtusely cuneate, glabrous when fully expanded but usually sericeous when very young; minute pits, each with basal gland, visible as pimples on both leaf surfaces, usually mostly submarginal; venation brochidodromous, secondary veins 9-18 pairs, not prominent; petiole 0.7-2(-2.5) cm long, usually sericeous at first, soon glabrous, with 2 sessile glands. Inflorescence 2-20 cm long, axillary or terminal simple spikes or racemes of spikes, variously with male, female or bisexual flowers, plants bisexual to dioecious; inflorescence axes and young stems usually densely sericeous; rhachis up to 18 cm long. Male flowers ca. 2 x 3-4(-5) mm, female/bisexual ones 3.5-6.5 x 3-4(-5) mm, gradually elongating in fruit; lower hypanthium obconical, 2-4 mm long in bisexual/female flowers, densely fulvous-sericeous or rarely glabrous, 2 subapical prophylls (bracteoles) each resembling a calyx-lobe,upper hypanthium shallowly cupuliform, 1.5-2.5 mm long, incl. erect to incurved calyx lobes of ca. 1 mm long, densely fulvous-sericeous or rarely glabrous; petals broadly ovate, ca. 1.5 mm long, apex obtuse, pubescent outside; stamens 1-2 mm long, scarcely exserted; disk pubescent at outer edge; style 1-1.5 mm long, scarcely exserted, glabrous. Fruit densely fulvous-sericeous to -tomentose, rarely glabrous, 12-20 x 4-10 mm, obconical to fusiform, somewhat flattened laterally, retaining upper hypanthium, calyx and bracteoles but losing petals and stamens, longitudinally irregularly ridged, 2 narrow longitudinal wings up to 1.5 mm wide running down from bracteole midveins.
Africa:, Angola (Angola present); Senegal (Senegal present) Atlantic and Pacific coasts of tropical America: present Guianas: present Northern America:, Florida (Florida present); Mexico Northwest (Baja California Sur present) Southern America:, Bahamas (Bahamas present); Brazil South (Santa Catarina present); Galápagos (Galápagos present) W Africa: present extreme N Peru: present
Atlantic and Pacific coasts of tropical America from Baja California Sur (27° N), Florida (28° 30' N) and Bahamas throughout the West Indies to Santa Catarina (ca. 28° 30' S) and extreme N Peru (ca. 3° 30' S), incl. Galápagos, in W Africa from Senegal (ca. 12° 30' N) to Angola (ca. 9° S); about 13 specimens from the Guianas (GU: 3; SU: 3; FG: 7).
English (French Guiana): pelétuvier gris; English (Guyana, Republic of): furilia; English (Suriname, Republic of): akira, ankira, furilia; English: mangle blanco, white mangrove
Produces distinctive pneumatophores, but the fruit is only slightly viviparous, the embryo rupturing the testa and occasionally the radicle protruding from the fruit while still on the tree. All Guianan material belongs to var. racemosa, with inflorescence axes, fruits and flowers, and young stems, leaves and petioles densely fulvous-sericeous.