The isolation of pentacyclic triterpenoids from seven species of fresh mangrove leaves using a simple and rapid method is described. The leaves were homogenized using chloroform-methanol and the extract was diluted with water to precipitate out triterpenoids which were separated into neutral and acidic fractions. These were analysed by gas-liquid chromatography as acetyl and trimethylsilyl ether derivatives on a 3% OV-17 column. Sterols were isolated from the chloroform layer by preparative thin layer chromatography and were analysed by gas-liquid chromatography as their trimethylsilyl ether derivatives on a 3% OV-17 column. The triterpenoids found were α-amyrin, β-amyrin, lupeol, oleanolic acid and ursolic acid in most of the samples. Sterols found in all the samples were cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, sitosterol and stigmast-7-en-3β-ol. Retention indices of the triterpenoids and sterols have been determined. © 1985.