What Are the Native Plants of Venezuela?

Written by david thyberg
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What Are the Native Plants of Venezuela?
(George Bosela: sxc.hu)

Venezuela is a Spanish-speaking country situated at the northern tip of South America. With nearly 2,000 miles of coastline along the Caribbean Sea as well as vast rainforests and rugged highlands stemming from the Andes Mountains, Venezuela has a diverse set of plant life. In fact, there are over 21,000 species of flora unique to this country. Here are some of the most recognisable plants in Venezuela.

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Orchids

Venezuela has over 25,000 different species of orchids. These beautiful flowers grow in the Venezuelan cloud forests and lowland marshes. One of the best-known species of orchids is the flor de mayo orchid. This is the national flower of Venezuela.

Araguaney Tree

The araguaney tree is the national tree of Venezuela. It is know for its resilience and lush appearance after the annual rainy season. This tree is part of the Tabebuia genus. It grows to medium size in the tropical forests as well as on the arid hills of Venezuela. It can be recognised by the bright yellow flowers that bloom on its branches.

Moriche Palm Tree

The moriche palm tree grows in the swamps of the Orinoco Delta. It is referred to by the local Warao Indians as the "tree of life," growing up to 35 meters in height. Red and yellow flowers bloom on the tree in the summer, and fruit also grows between December and June. This fruit from the moriche palm tree is edible. The indigenous people of Venezuela have used it for centuries. It can be eaten fresh or used to make juice, jam and wine. The fruit of the tree is rich in vitamin C, and vitamin A can be extracted from the pulp and used to treat burns.

Andean Lupine Flower

The Andean lupin flower grows in the highlands of Venzuela. It is generally found in moist habitats between 8,000 and 11,000 feet in altitude. The flower can be recognised by its short stem and purple-lilac petals.

Andean Frailejon Plant

The Andean frailejon is a native plant in the Paramo high plains. It can be found at up to 13,000 feet in altitude, well above the tree-line. This plant blooms in October, producing bright yellow blossoms atop long skinny stems. The yellow petals of the frailejon plant stand in stark contrast to the barren hills where they grow.

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