Tropical Rainforest Plants
Interesting Plants 3

Sacred FigSacred Fig
Ficus religiosa
Mulberry family
This large, fast-growing tree begins life as an epiphyte. Its leaves are excellent, if exaggerated, examples of drip tips, which allow rapid shedding of water. Widely planted in the tropics, in India the tree is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists.

American MangroveAmerican Mangrove
Rhizophora mangle
Mangrove family
The mangroves are widely distributed throughout the tropics and in southern Florida, growing in areas of salt water, such as tidal shores and marshes. The many arching aerial roots make dense tangles that stabilize the surrounding soil, prop the tree, and assist in absorbing water and minerals. Seeds germinate while still attached to the parent plant, giving them a head start on growth when they fall and lodge in the mud. Mangrove bark is an important source of tannin, used in tanning, dyeing, making ink, and medicine. American mangrove is also referred to as red mangrove.

Cananga odorata
Annona family
This southeast Asian tree, which can grow to 80 feet, is also sometimes spelled "ylang-ylang." Its greenish yellow, drooping flowers are exceedingly fragrant, and their oils are distilled for use in some of the world's most expensive perfumes.

Screw PineScrew Pine
Pandanus copelandii
Pandanus family
Not true pines, the many trees and shrubs in the Pandanus family are noteworthy for their dramatic architecture and aerial prop roots. The name "screw pine" reflects their twisted patterns of growth. In areas where the plants are native, their leaves are often woven into thatch, baskets, hats, and mats, while their flowers are sources for perfumes and folk medicines.

Giant BambooGiant Bamboo
Dendrocalamus giganteus
Grass family
This Southeast Asian bamboo became famous during World War II for its ability to overgrow jeeps rapidly, reportedly sometimes overnight. A mature specimen can reach more than 100 feet in height and 12 inches in diameter. 

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