Cassava (Tapioka)

Cassava (Tapioka)Manihot esculenta (Euphorbiaceae) Characteristics Woody shrub. Although naturally a perennial plant, Cassava is extensively cultivated as an annual for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. Though it is often called “yuca” in Spanish America and in the United States, it is not related to “yucca”, a shrub in the family…

Candle bush

Candle bushSenna cf. alata (Fabaceae) Characteristics Shrub, up to 4 m tall. Leaves 50-80 cm long (with many leaflets). Inflorescence looks like a yellow candle (“Candle bush”). Fruit shaped like a straight pod, up to 25 cm long. Seeds distributed by water or animals. Distribution Native to most of the Neotropics (from Mexico and the…

Chilli / Pepper

Chilli / PepperCapsicum annuum (Solanaceae) Characteristics Shrubby, perennial herb, up to 60 cm tall. Stem densely branched. Flowers white (sometimes purplish). Botanically, the Chilli fruits are berries that may be green, yellow, orange or red when ripe. While Capsicum annuum can tolerate most frost-free climates, it is especially productive in warm and dry climates. Distribution…

Water Lilly (English)

Water Lilly (English)Nymphaea sp. (Nymphaeaceae) Characteristics Water lilies are aquatic, rhizomatous, perennial herbs. Leaves grow from the rhizome on long petioles. Most of the leaves float on the surface of the water. Flowers are pollinated by insects, often beetles. Plant reproduce by root tubers and seeds. Distribution The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution. Many species…

Asian poison bulb

Asian poison bulbCrinum asiaticum (Amaryllidaceae) Characteristics Perennial herb, up to 1 m tall. Leaf base formed pseudobulb. Leaves lanceolate, up to 1 m long and 7-12 cm wide. Aromatic, white inflorescence. Distribution Native to Indian Ocean Islands, East Asia, Tropical Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands. It is regarded as naturalized in Mexico, Florida and Madagascar.…

Molau yalewa

Molau yalewaPhyllanthus cordata (Phyllanthaceae) Characteristics Evergreen shrub or tree, 3-7 m tall, spreading crown. Grows in dry forests, ridge forests, pastures and along roadsides, at elevations up to 900 meters. The plant flowers and produces fruits all year round. Distribution .Endemic to Fiji. Natural Medical Properties No known. Did you know? This species is noteworthy…

Siris tree (Fiji)

Siris tree (Fiji)Albizia lebbeck (Fabaceae) Characteristics Tree, up to 25 m, wide-canopied with large, symmetrical, umbrella-shaped crown. Pinkish flowers with white and red stamens, set on heads with around 12-25 flowers per head. These heads may number in the thousands, covering the whole tree. Large branches of the tree tend to break off, particularly during…

Beach morning glory

Beach morning gloryIpomoea pes-caprae (Convolvulaceae) Characteristics Perennial, creeping vine. Grows on the upper parts of beaches, often covering large areas, and endures salted air. It is a primary sand stabilizer, being one of the first plants to colonize the dune (pioneer plant). The stems are often several meters in length, rooting at the nodes, glabrous.…

Blind your eye mangrove

Blind your eye mangroveExcoecaria agallocha (Euphorbiaceae) Characteristics Small tree, up to 15 m tall. Dioecious (trees either male or female). Pollinators such as bees commonly visit the flowers. Fruit is a small dark capsule. Distribution Common in mangrove swamps from Bangladesh, India, Australia as well as on the shores of the Philippine and Pacific Islands.…

Hibiscus

HibiscusHibiscus rosa-senensis (Malvaceae) Characteristics Bushy, evergreen shrub or small tree, up to 5 m. Glossy leaves and solitary, brilliant red flowers. 5-petaled flowers are 10 cm in diameter, with prominent orange-tipped red anthers. Despite its size and red hues, which are attractive to nectarivore birds, it is not visited regularly by hummingbirds when grown in…