Madagascar Plants

Madagascar plants are probably even more unique than Madagascar animals.

Out of the 12,000 plant species on the island about 80% are endemic.

Baobab Trees

Six of the world's eight baobab tree species are endemic to Madagascar. These include Za Baobab (Adansonia za), Suarez Baobab (Adansonia suarezensis), Fony Baobab (Adansonia rubrostipa), Perrier's Baobab (Adansonia perrieri), Madagascar Baobab (Adansonia madagascariensis) and Grandidier's Baobab (Adansonia grandidieri).
baobab tree

The other two - African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) and Boab (Adansonia gregorii) are found in Africa and Australia respectively. Baobabs can grow huge (up to 15m in diametre) and old (some are thought to be thousands of years old).

They have swollen looking trunks where they store water. All grow in areas with a dry and a wet season.

boab tree

Madagascar Palm Trees
Ninety five percent of Madagascar's 170 palm species are found nowhere else. Amongst others, there are many different Beccariophoenix, Bismarckia, Dypsis, Halmoorea, Honkona, Hyphaene, Lemurophoenix, MarojejyaMasoala, Raphia, Ravenea, Satranala and Voanioala species.

madagascar palm trees

Other Unique Madagascar Plants
The Didiereaceae family, entirely unique to Madagascar, consists of plants closely related to Cacti.
Didiereaceae, however, grow tiny leaves as opposed to Cactus. The leaves are deciduous during the dry season. Both leaves and stems are thick, to store as much water as possible. 

madagascar plants

Madagascar Orchids
There are about 900 species of orchids on Madagascar. This is probably the highest number in the world per country, and about 90% of them are endemic to the island. Thanks to their extraordinary appearance orchids are threatened by their collectors and trade. But on Madagascar as in many other rainfroests they are also threatened by rainforest destruction. Some of the threatened species in Madagascar include Aeranthes henriciAngraecum longicalcar, Angraecum magdalenaeBulbophyllum hamelinii, Eulophiella roempleriana and Grammangis spectabilis.

rainforest orchid

Pitcher Plant
The carnivorous pitcher plant is one of the most famous Madagascar's orchids. There are at least two species of pitcher plants found in Madagascar.
Pitcher plants trap their prey (insects) in the cavity of the so-called cup. They typically grow on soils too poor in nutrients.

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