St Helena 2009 - Plants

Although the cliffs around the island look very barren as soon as you are inland the vegetation changes dramatically and there are forests and pasture land. There are also plenty of flowering plants many of which we've seen growing wild in South Africa - and in gardens in the UK.

The Arum Lily is the National flower of St Helena and is found all over the island.

On the higher slopes arounf Diana's Peak there are lots of tree ferns.

Banana trees grow in the wild as well as on cultivated land.

This is one of the plants that thrives on the barren land near the sea.

Introduced, invasive species have had a devastatiing effect on some of the indiginous trees and plants. In some areas they are trying to clear the invasive plants and replace them with indiginous species - a difficult task given the thick vegetation.

Flax was introduced to the island as a cash crop - it was used to make string and rope - but the industry stopped in the 1960s once synthetic string and rope took over. Flax now covers many of the steep hillsides in the South of the island.

Some plants grow in the most unlikely places - this one was just below the clifftop at Great Stone Top.

Tungi (or prickly pear) grows all over the island and is used to make a local (very strong) drink!

In 2000 the Millenium Forest project started. Its aim is to re-introduce Gumwoods to an area of the island which used to be forest but completely disappeared for 2 reasons - people chopping trees down for firewood and allowing goats to run wild and decimate the vegetation on the island. Goats were first introduced by the Portuguese soon after they discovered the island and left to breed so that sailors could have access to fresh meat.

These flowers are all growing wild on St Helena.

Voyages between Cape Town and St Helena
St Helena - exploring the island
St Helena - Jamestown
St Helena - forts and defences
St Helena's Day
St Helena - boat trip
St Helena - Napoleon
St Helena - birds
St Helena - plants
St Helena - Island views - a photo gallery. This link will open in a new window.
St Helena - background information - link to the St Helena tourism website, it will open in a new window.
Diary - Word document.

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