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Ranomafana’s miniature flowers: Aerangis citrata

Aerangis citrata

Aerangis citrata, also called Manta in Malagasy, is found on the entire eastern side of Madagascar. Wherever there is high humidity and permanently warm regions, it feels at home. From the coast up to 1500 m above sea level you can find this orchid. Like many orchids of Madagascar, Aerangis citrata lives epiphytically, i.e. it grows on branches of trees. …

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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

Baobab-Allee

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 Tree of Travellers

The Ravenala, better known as the tree of travellers (Ravenala madagascariensis), belongs to the strelitzia family, although it looks more like a palm tree. Although it is now widespread all over the world and is even cultivated as a decoration plant in some homes, it originates from Madagascar and only occurs naturally there. Ravenalas grow to an average height of …

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Darwin’s orchid

As early as 1802, French colonialists in Madagascar discovered a unique, white-flowering orchid whose waxy blossom had a diameter of a good 12 cm. They had never seen anything like it, and so it was also a Frenchman named Du Petit-Thouars, who 20 years later wrote down a description of the peculiar flower for the first time. He called it …

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Flora in general

Not only Madagascar’s fauna is unique, animal life is at home in a fantastic flora. It is estimated that Madagascar is home to around 14,000 different plant species. Over three-quarters of them are found nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, more and more non-native plants are spreading all over Madagascar. Introduced pines and eucalyptus grow wherever the original flora has …

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