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Madagascar: Images of Dry Tropical Habitat

Click on a thumbnail for a larger image. The thumbnails are arranged into 3 categories: Plants on this page, and Animals and People and Landscapes on another page.


1. 2. 3. 4.
1. Missouri Botanical Garden Student Sylvain Razafimandimbison with a large Pachypodium geayi, a bottle tree member of the Oleander Family (Apocynaceae) in the southwest.
2. Pachypodium brevicaule flowering in the central part of the island. Compare the habit of this species of Pachypodium with the one in the previous photo. They couldn't be more different: this one is a tiny tuber that barely reaches above ground level while the other is a massive tree!
3. Big Adansonia rubrostipa trees north of Tulear in the southwest.
4. Delonix decaryi (formerly known as D. adansonioides), a bottle tree in the Legume Family (Fabaceae) that grows in the dry southwest.
5. 6. 7. 8.
5. The triangular palm Neodypsis decaryi is perhaps more abundant in cultivation than it is in habitat in the southeast.
6. Erblichia sp. (Turneraceae) blooming in the Ankarana dry forest in the north.
7. A Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia sp. in the Aristolochiaceae) in the Mikea Forest on the west coast of the island.
8. A species of Butterfly Tree or Orchid Tree in the genus Bauhinia sp. (Fabaceae) in the Mikea Forest on the west coast of the island.
9. 10. 11. 12.
9. Gloriosa sp., a member of the Lily Family (Liliaceae)in the Mikea Forest on the west coast of the island.
10. A wild species of the persimmon genus (Diospyros in the Ebenaceae) in the Mikea Forest on the west coast of the island.
11. Madagascar is full of strange plants. The plant in the foreground is one of the coralliform Euphorbias that are so diverse on the island, so named because the odd branching of the stems reminded early botanists of corals.The tree in the background is Alluaudia comosa (Didieriaceae). Photographed near Tulear in the southwest.
12. Alluaudia comosa near Tulear. This strange tree has branches that are very thick at the base and then taper almost immediately to fine, spiny branchlets. Tulear's landmark plateau La Table can be seen in the background.
13. 14. 15. 16.
13. Bismarckia palms on the plains in the Isalo area, in the southern central part of the island.
14. Flower of Phylloctenium, a prickly shrub in the Bignoniaceae family. This one was found in the Mikea Forest on the southern part of the west coast.
15. and 16. Flower and fruit of Grewia sp. (Tiliaceae), an important component of dry vegetation in Madagascar and other parts of the Old World. This was found in the Mikea Forest.
17. 18. 19. 20.
17. Earthstar fungus from the Mikea forest.
18. Flowers of a plant in the Malpighiaceae from the Mikea Forest.
19. The spiny branches of Azima tetracantha (Salvadoraceae), photographed on the west coast.
20. A low-growing tuberous Euphorbia growing among the quartz in southern central Madagascar.
21. 22. 23. 24.
21. Nepenthes madagascariensis (Nepenthaceae), a carnivorous pitcher plant, and the fern Gleichenia (Gleicheniaceae)growing in a seep in the southeast.
22. The fat-bellied bottle palm Dypsis decipiens growing in the central southern part of the island.
23. The dense inflorescence of the liana Combretum (Combretaceae) is borne directly on the trunk near the ground. This one was photographed in dry forest in the Ankarana Reserve in northern Madagascar.
24. Another view of Erblichia (Turneraceae) from Ankarana. Look at the brush- like stigmas!
25. The fruit of this Uncarina species from northern Madagascar is covered with very sharp miniature grappling hooks. Uncarina is in the Sesame Family (Pedaliaceae).

Please get in touch! molson@ibiologia.unam.mx
©1999 Mark E Olson, except the Images 3, 4, 13 which are © 1999 Sylvain G. Razafimandimbison, and Images 2, 20, 22 which are ©1999 Simon T. Malcomber.