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The water tank of the South

Cyphostemma montagnacii

Madagascar’s south put forth many quirky, mostly water saving plants. An especially strange and unique plant is Cyphostemma montagnacii. The shape of this plant seems to be not of this world: A small, gnarly stem merges into long vines. Indeed this strange plant belongs to the grapevine family. Its branches need a tree which they can climb up and which …

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The country of Baobabs


What would Madagascar be without its giant landmarks, the mighty baobabs? Over here, they might be known as monkey bread, and have been famous as photo motives and in literatures for centuries. These huge trees, whose roots seems to grow into the sky, enchant everyone, and many baobabs are told to possess magic power. Madagascar has not less than seven …

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The carnivore among plants

Nepenthes madagascariensis

Carnivorous plants in Madagascar? Yes, there are! Two species of pitcher plants (Nepenthes madagascariensis and Nepenthes masoalensis) solely exist on the big island. You can find them in open, sunny areas on humid sandy soil along Madagascar’s east coast. In northern direction, they occur until Antongil bay and in southern direction until Tolagnaro (French Fort Dauphin). Mostly, large populations are …

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The traveler’s tree

The Ravenala, better known as the traveler’s tree (Ravenala madagascariensis), is counted among the bird-of-paradise family, although it resembles a palm tree outwardly. Whilst nowadays it is distributed worldwide and people even cultivate it as ornamental plant, the ravenala originally comes from Madagascar and occurs only there naturally. Ravenalas become 15 metres high at average and are famous for their …

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Darwin’s orchid

In 1802, French colonialists discovered a unique, white blooming orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) in Madagascar, which wax-like flower had a diameter of about 12 cm. They had never seen something comparative before. Well, so it was also a French named Du Petit-Thouars, who wrote a description of this strange flower for the first time twenty years later. What is extraordinary about …

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Flora in general

Not only Madagascar’s fauna is unique, but the animals inhabitat a fantastic flora, too. One assumes that Madagascar is home to 14.000 different plant species. More than three quarters of them can be found nowhere else on Earth. Unfortunately, more and more non-native plants are spread throughout Madagascar. Introduced pine and eucalyptus tree grow in all those place where native …

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