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Pacific Trees and Plants


The natural vegetation of the Pacific islands originated in the Malaysian region. Centuries ago, oceangoing Polynesian canoes carried many useful plants to the islands, including kava, taro, breadfruit, yams, and plantains. Drought-resistant coconuts and pandanus are found almost everywhere.

All photos on Pacific-Pictures.com are by David Stanley, author of Moon Handbooks South Pacific. The images on this page are details. To view the complete photos, click on the thumbnails.

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Flamboyant Tree, Aitutaki

Flamboyant Tree, Aitutaki, Cook Islands

In the South Pacific the flamboyant, also known as the flame tree or royal poinciana, is covered in bright red blossoms from November to March.
Kava Plant

The roots of the pepper plant are crushed to produce kava.

Taro

Taro is one of the staple root crops of the South Pacific islands.

Noni Pandanus Breadfruit

Noni pulp is made into a drink with therapeutic qualities.

Dried pandanus leaves are woven into baskets and mats.

Another Pacific staple, breadfruit, grows on trees.

Vanilla Beans Cacoa Seed Pods Araucaria Pines, New Caledonia

A flavoring extract is made from the seedpod of vanilla.

Cacoa seed pods are roasted and ground to produce cocoa.

The Araucaria columnaris pine is symbolic of New Caledonia.

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