Half of the island’s flora arrived in Reunion without man’s intervention, carried by the wind or by the ocean currents. The majority originate from the nearest big land masses :
- Madagascar and Africa. We have some plants in common with Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya
- India or islands in the Pacific.
Some have mutated to give birth to new species: there are 232 endemic flowering plants.
Orchids, Queens of the forests
Up in the forests at altitude, there are at least 120 different types of orchid flourishing in the undergrowth or even growing from the tree trunks themselves.
One particularity in Reunion: it’s a lot easier to admire the orchids because they don’t grow as high up on the trunks as they do in other tropical forests where the trees are bigger.
The orchids generally flower between November and April, but some much later in June and July.
Reunion’s vegetation forms a backdrop like on no other tropical island. Unique species can be found at every zone of vegetation and most of them with singular Creole names: drumwood, smelly wood, ironwood, milkwood, scent wood, sponge wood, red tan…
is well worth a visit for those seeking a detailed insight into this fragile natural heritage.
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