The flora of Reunion, like that of other intertropical oceanic islands, is the result of slow and selective immigration (indigenous species*), and of speciation processes that, although recent in geological terms, have given rise to significant endemism.*
Lacking mobility, plants naturally disperse their seeds passively: via sea currents (sea vector), winds and cyclones (wind vector) or even via birds (animal vector). Isolated in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Reunion has remained a difficult destination to reach! Only certain species were able to make the journey and become established. The original plant colonisation relied on the closest continental areas (nearly 70 per cent of the flora comes from Madagascar and East Africa).