The value of a nation's beauty is one of its richest assets. The flora and fauna are what sets apart one destination from others.
The Seychelles islands - an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean - is one such destination. A champion and leader in environmental issues, the islands are well known for its endemic plants and animals.
This week's Seychelles Buzz shows off 12 endemic plants featured in a 2018 calendar produced by the Seychelles National Herbarium. Through this calendar, the herbarium wants to raise awareness on these plants with the hope that Seychellois recognize their true value.
1. Begonia Seychellensis - begonya sova
The begonia Seychellensis are plants found uniquely on Mahe and Silhouette islands. The species is found in shady areas. The plants grow on the ground or on rocky surfaces in forests in mountainous areas.
2. Dillenia ferruginea - bwa rouz
Known in the local language as bwa rouz, these species grow in forests at low to medium altitudes up to 500 metres. These plants are found uniquely on Mahe, Silhouette, Praslin and Curieuse islands.
3. Glionnetia sericea - mangliye gran bwa
Endemic to the main island of Mahe and the third-largest island of Silhouette, glionnetia sericea prefer humid mountainous forests. The plants can also be found on glacis at altitudes greater than 500 metres.
4. Hypoxidia rhizophylla - pti koko maron
Found all three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, pti koko maron are also found on Curieuse and Silhouette. These plants grow in humid areas and at varying altitudes.
5. Impatiens gordonii - belzamin sovaz
This rare plant can only be found on Mahe and Silhouette. The impatiens gordonii grows in mist mountain forests at altitudes between 250 and 600 metres.
6. Medusagyne oppositifolia - bwa mediz
Endemic to the main island of Mahe, the medusagyne oppositifolia grows on exposed rocks. They are found in areas of altitude between 150 and 500 metres.
7. Neofriedmannia seychellensis - koko maron
Found in several granitic islands, these species can be found in various habitats. Neofriedmannia seychellensis grow at different altitudes on exposed glacis areas. The plant has been documented on Mahe, Silhouette, Praslin, Felicite, Therese and Fregate islands.
8. Nepenthes pervillei - lalyann potao
These unique plants can be found growing in upper mountain zones or glacis areas. The nepenthes pervillei grow in soil as well as on other plants. Their habitats are on Mahe and Silhouette.
9. Pandanus sechellarum - vakwa maron
The pandanus sechellarum can be found on Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, Curieuse, and Felicite. It can also be found on Fregate but the species were introduced on the island. The plant grows at different locations including on glacis areas as well as in humid forest undergrowth.
10. Pandanus multispicatus - vakwa montanny
The vakwa montanny has its natural habitat on the islands of Mahe, Praslin, Silhouette, Fregate, Curieuse, and Felicite. It grows on mountain summits and thrives at higher altitudes.
11. Rothmannia annae - bwa sitron
After its extinction from Mahe, Silhouette, Praslin, and Felicite, the rothmannia annae was found in its natural state only on Aride Island. The plant which grows at low altitude has been successfully been re-introduced to other islands of Seychelles.
12. Seidenfia seychellarum - orkid zepi ble
Theorkidzepible grows in moist shaded mountainous areas. They can be found on Mahe, Praslin, and Silhouette. The species also grows on rock surfaces at altitudes above 500 metres.