Avicennia is a genus of flowering plants currently placed in the bear's breeches family, Acanthaceae. It contains mangrove trees, which occur in the intertidal zones of estuarine areas and are characterized by aerial roots. It is commonly known as api api which in the Malay language means "fires", a reference to the fact that fireflies often congregate on these trees. Species of Avicennia occur worldwide south of the Tropic of Cancer.
The taxonomic placement of Avicennia is contentious. In some classifications it has been placed in the family Verbenaceae, but more recently has been placed by some botanists in the monogeneric family Avicenniaceae. Recent phylogenetic studies have suggested that Avicennia is derived from within Acanthaceae, and the genus is included in that family in the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system.
Designation of species is made difficult by the great variations in form of Avicennia marina. Between eight and ten species are usually recognised, with Avicennia marina further divided into a number of subspecies.
The generic name honours Persian physician Avicenna (980-1037)