Whilst it is renowned for its diverse collection of exotic animals, it’s no mystery that the Amazon Rainforest is also home to some of the most wild and beautiful flora on the planet. Here are five of our favourites…
The Rubber Tree
Also known as the latex tree, the tree’s sap is currently used in the production of latex on an industrial level. The trees can grow up to 30 metres tall (around 100 feet) and when the tree’s bark is cut or broken away, a dazling white substance, the sap, oozes from the crevices. It is then harvested and processed to create a variety of products such as chewing gum and solvents.
Giant Water Lily
Whilst your standard water lily isn’t usually something to brag about, the giant water lilies found in the Amazon can grow up to a staggering 3 metres (10 feet) in diameter. The stalk itself can grow up to 8 metres (27 feet) making the plant so strong and sturdy it could support the weight of a small child if the weight is distributed evenly. They can be found throughout the forest wherever there is water, and they happen to only flower for 48 hours.
The Cacao Plant
If you’re a chocolate lover, you owe a lot to the cacao plant. Despite being the producer of one of the best desert foods, it is rich in nutrients and comes with many health benefits, making it a superfood. Introducing raw cacao into your diet could do wonders for your body including a boost in natural energy and improved focus. It is efficient in iron, and magnesium, and has a higher calcium content than cow’s milk.
The Passion Fruit Flower
Passion fruit juice is one of the nation’s favourite tropical treats, but the passion fruit plant also produces these enchanting flowers. It grows on a vine that thrives well in tropical climates, but doesn’t like extreme temperatures. That’s why you have may seen them before in the UK! The vine can grow up to 20 feet every year and it tends to grow towards the shade as it doesn’t like direct sunlight.
The Monkey Brush
Native to South America is the Monkey Brush. It covers the jungles and grows like a parasite! The name comes from the plant’s long, bright and colourful stems which attract stunning hummingbirds and green iguanas. Its vibrancy and tendency to cling and grow all over other plants and trees in the rainforest means it adds a wonderfully satisfying splash of colour which enhances the tropical scenery.
Written by Clo Gascoigne