White chippi (Sonneratia alba) or sweet scented apple mangrove is now the official mangrove tree of Maharashtra. Maharashtra implemented a successful mangrove conservation programme on government land after the Bombay high court declared them as protected forests in 2015. Later, they were declared reserved forests.Maharashtra already has a state tree (mango), animal (large squirrel), fowl (inexperienced pigeon), state butterfly (blue mormon) and flower (jarul).
Maharashtra has a long coastline of 720km having a typical mangrove habitat harbouring a variety of flora and fauna. There are 60 mangrove plant species in the world, out of which Maharashtra has about 20 species.
Sonneratia alba is one of the important evergreen mangrove tree species occurring in the coastal districts of Maharashtra. It is known as white chippi in local parlance as it bears beautiful white flowers.
Therefore, Sonneratia alba has been declared as state mangrove tree so as to help create awareness about the importance of mangroves and marine biodiversity among the students and people which will help support its conservation.