Galapagos Travel Advisor- Plantlife, Flora Species & Variety

Galapagos Plantlife

The Galapagos Islands lie in the Pacific Dry Belt, so most of the archipelago’s land area is covered by semi-desert or desert vegetation. Only the higher parts of the larger Islands receive enough rain to be considered tropical and lush. There are roughly 600 native taxa (species, subspecies and varieties) of vascular plants (42% are endemic) and some 190 species introduced by humans.

It is easier to identify most plant species and also makes it easier to understand evolutionary relationships because the flora is so species poor. Here we list the more common and better known plant species, grouped together according to ecological zones.

LITTORAL (COASTAL) ZONE :

Mangroves (Red, Black, White, Button)
lpomoea Beach Morning Glory Crypocarpus
Salt Bush Sesuvium

THE HUMID ZONES: SCALESIA ZONE :

Scalesia peclundulata Peperomia
Tillandsia (bromeliad)
Bracken (ferns)

TRANSITION ZONE :

Palo Santo (Burseracece)
Pega-Pega Guyabilio *
Matazarno Endemic species

ARID ZONE :

Candelabra Cactus, Lava Cactus, Prickley Pear Cactus * Opuntia, Cutleaf Dasy Leocorpus
Lantana Leather Leaf Maytenus, Manzanillo (poison apple)
Mollugo Cordia Lutea, Palo Verde Porkinsonia, Tiquilia

THE MICONIA ZONE :

Miconia shrub

ZANTHOSYLUM (BROWN) ZONE :

Mostly mosses, liverworts and ferns

PAMPA ZONE :

Ferns, grasses and sedges
Tree fern – Cyathea