It’s our great hope that you, our readers, will greatly enjoy reading this article about 5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants we present to you here. As always, it was certainly a great pleasure for us to compile it for your enjoyment and, hopefully, edification.
We further hope that reading about these species serves to whet your appetite to learn of more such marvels of Nature. Obviously, however, these 5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants represent only a few of the wonders of Nature. Watch our pages for more!
Nepenthes pervillei Facts
- Leading off this article about 5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants comes the fascinating creation of evolution known by its technical name of Nepenthes Pervillei.
- For unknown reasons, this remarkable, as well as extremely distinctive, plant bears the relatively cumbersome formal scientific name only. Unfortunately, for the moment, this fascinating creation of Nature has no generally accepted common name, however.
- The first, formal recognition of the intriguing plant as a separate and distinct species took place in the year 1852. The respected German-Dutch botanist, Charles Ludwig de Blume further holds the distinction of this scientifically noteworthy accomplishment.
- Subsequently, though, later research eventually moved the unique plant to another genus, renaming it as Anurosperma pervillei. To confuse the issue even more, however, still later studies placed it back into its original genus, and restored the original name.
- Such shuffling happens occasionally, coming as no surprise to those who follow the field. That’s due to the fact that newer research, utilizing improved scientific tools and knowledge frequently alter our understanding and knowledge of the world around us.
- Fortunately for it, the remarkable work of evolution appears to have a population base that’s both sizeable and stable. This also appears to hold true throughout the entirety of its admittedly small range. The IUCN, therefore, currently lists it as Least Concern.
- The Nepenthes pervillei nevertheless must be considered to facing at least some threats to its continued existence, as most species do. Habitat loss forms a very real potential danger, of course. Its greatest threat, though, likely consists of climate change.
Nepenthes pervillei Physical Description
Although the marvelous Nepenthes pervillei never fails to dazzle and impress those fortunate to encounter it, the plant doesn’t do so due to sheer size. That’s because it remains a physically small specimen. That holds especially true due to some of its relatives.
The plant nonetheless holds its own brand of visual appeal for those who appreciate the variety of Nature. This botanical wonder evolved as a varity of pitcher plant. Due to shared genetic traits, the trap develops as strongly vertical in construction.
The trap further attains a normal maximum height of roughly 5.5 in (14 cm). This structure also tends to remain quite slender. Typically this has an average diamter of only about 1.2 in (3 cm). This further sits atop a slim stem that averages about 2 in (5 cm).
Each of these plants also manifests numerous short leaves, with a rounded tip. These further tend to vary signicantly in length, from individual to individual. As a general principle, however, this foliage attains roughly the same length as the trap does height.
Intriguingly, the coloring of the Nepenthes pervillei changes over time. Younger plants tend to display a predominantly reddish-brown hue, along with an external covering of fine hairs. Mature specimens, though, tend to progress from greenish-yellow to purple shades.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Caryophyllales
- Family: Nepentheceae
- Genus: Nepenthes
- Species: N. pervillei
Nepenthes pervillei Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Quite sadly, the magnificent Nepenthes pervillei appears to possess and extremely limited range of habitation. That range is also severely restricted, complicating its chances of long term survival. Fortunately, though, it’s native region’s extremely lush overall.
That’s because it evolved as native to a very small, specific portion of the Indian Ocean. More precisely, to the knowledge of researchers, it only lives in the Seychelles. Even within that region, however, it only appears on the islands of Mahé and Silhouette.
Presently, no evidence exists that it ever spread beyond this limited range. Within that very specific range, it also displays decidedly strong, and prohibitive habitat requirements. To begin with, all known specimens make their home on or near mountain summits.
Not only that, however, those mountain summits, already few in number on the islands, must also be primarily composed of granite in their structure. There, the roots of this unique botanical marvel struggle valiantly to reach deep into small cracks and crevices.
Altitude also seems to play a vital role in its requirements for survival. Due to that, all known plants live at altitudes ranging from 1,148 – 2,460 ft (350 – 750 m) above sea level. The precise evolutionary reason for such specific requirements, however, is a mystery.
The soil in such locations obviously remains extremely poor in vital nutrients, though. Being carnivorous in nature, the Nepenthes pervillei therefore supplements its nutritional needs by consuming live prey. These vary, of course, but ants comprise the majority of its diet.
Ascension Island Parsley Fern
Ascension Island Parsley Fern
- Next up among our choices for inclusion in this compilation of 5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants is the fabulous Ascension Island Parsley Fern.
- Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the diminutive little plant holds little importance, especially not within its own specific ecological niche. For the moment, this marvel of Nature has not other generally accepted common name applied to it.
- This unusual fact does nothing to diminish its relative importance, however. That’s because this incredible species quite perfectly demonstrates the proof of the point that small in stature does not automatically equate to unimportant in the grand scheme.
- Perhaps most notably, this tiny, but truly remarkable, plant presently holds a most unfortunate status with various organizations that routinely track such things. That sad fact holds true because it ranks as one of the rarest of all known plants in the world.
- More specifically, and incredibly, for the moment, only 4 known individual specimens of this distinctive, but extremely rare fern still exist in the wild. The marvelous little fern nevertheless currently stands as a symbol of hope for many conservationists.
- That’s due to the fact that it represents proof that preservation efforts can successfully make a difference. Following its rediscovery, efforts to preserve it have been ongoing. Researchers previously, thankfully erroneously, believed it to extinct until 2010.
- Over 60 specimens have now been cultivated in several locations, following its rediscovery, however. The IUCN, however, nevertheless classifies the Ascension Island Parsley Fern as Critically Endangered, given the precarious state of its existence.
Ascension Island Parsley Fern Physical Description
Sadly, its scant numbers render certain deductions about the physical characteristics of the Ascension Island Parsley Fern difficult to verify. With only four specimens existing in the wild, botanists understandably hold certain reservatons aabout making concrete statements.
In point of fact, they naturally remain uncertain if these specimens represent average examples of the size of the species in its natural state. For the moment, however, it must be assumed that the nature of these specimens represents the true norm.
This fern rarely attains a height of more than 4 in (10 cm). It also possesses yellow-green leaves reminiscent of parsley, thus serving as the source of the common name. Some doubts still exist about the potential size of the Ascension Island Parsley Fern, however.
This state of affairs occurs mainly due to the fact that specimens grown in cultivation do seem to attain a noticeably larger size. The leading theory proposes that this happens due to the extremely harsh conditions of the native environment of the species.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophyta
- Class: Polypodiopsida
- Order: Polypodiales
- Family: Pteridaceae
- Genus: Anogramma
- Species: A. ascenionis
Ascension Island Parsley Fern Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most unfortunately for this wonder of Nature, as its very name implies, the amazing Ascension Island Parsley Fern has an extremely restricted natural habitat range. This same range, furthermore, easily qualifies as an especially inhospitable one for any species.
Most notably, as the common name implies, the small fern evolved as solely native to Ascension Island, situated 1,000 mi (1,600 km) from the coast of Africa. The very nature of its environment makes one wonder how it ever evolved in the area to begin with.
To date, the only known specimens in the wild live on the steep, rocky and rather harsh slopes of Green Mountain. For the time being, the remarkable little fern does not appear to live anywhere else in the world. This makes its situation impossibly perilous.
Like most other ferns, the wonderful Ascension Island Parsley Fern also propagates via the immense quantity of spores it releases. The few remaining wild specimens, however, inhabit hard, rocky ground. This, regrettably, provides little hope of successful spreading.
In conclusion, the island on which it appears has also lost a great majority of its native species, including the fern bearing its name. Though other factors certainly contributed to this sad loss, it mainly happened due to the introduction of invasive species.
Rosy Periwinkle Facts
- The third species appearing in this article about 5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants is the stunning beauty known by the common name of the Rosy Periwinkle.
- Firstly, this marvelous creation of evolution has far more to offer than just beauty. It forms a beautiful plant with incredible botanical usefulness. This stunning species also holds the unfortunate distinction of presently being quite rare and endangered.
- Secondly, its truly majestic beauty has another side effect. That holds true due to the fact that the plant also understandably became quite popular as an ornamental plant. Despite its delicate appearance, this plant remains an extremely hardy species.
- The delicate marvel of Nature, quite unfortunately, also has an extremely limited endemic range. Within that range, however, the flora now faces the threat of loss of habitat due to the practice of slash and burn agriculture.
- Fortunately, though, it proved to be highly adaptable and became naturalized in numerous other parts of the world. Nevertheless, within that limited home range, it now finds itself facing the very real potential threat of extinction in the wild.
- That lamentable state holds true due to the fact that, like many other species, it now must deal with the ongoing effects of climate change. Despite this, the IUCN currently has no listing for the Rosy Periwinkle on its Red List of Threatened Species.
Rosy Periwinkle Physical Description
The beauty of the Rosy Periwinkle conceals a surprising character. That’s because the gorgeous variety of flora is also highly versatile in nature. This holds true due to the fact that the Angiosperm develops as either a herbaceous plant or an evergreen shrub.
It also grows either vertically or runs along the ground, allowing it to inhabit different areas. It also attains heights of as much as 3.1 ft (1 m). In addition, the flowers of this marvelous plant appear either white with a red center or a dark pink, making for a striking contrast.
Its leaves typically display a glossy green in color. These develop a thick leathery texture. The fruit of the Rosy Periwinkle develops as an elongated follicle. This feature also most often appears in pairs. The sap of this plant has the consistency of a thick, milky white latex.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Gentianales
- Family: Apocynaceae
- Genus: Catharanthus
- Species: C. roseus
Rosy Periwinkle Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The incredibly lovely Rosy Periwinkle evolved as native to not only a limited region of the world, but a isolated one, as well. This flowering plant actually grows only on the island of Madagascar. This fabulous site itself remains an extremely unique location.
The beauty of the plant also conceals another surprise. It represents a veritable cornucopia of useful chemical compounds. In fact, some of the chemicals in the Rosy Periwinkle also have high toxicity, and ingestion of even a small amount can be fatal.
However, many of the other chemical compounds within the flower prove invaluable in saving lives. Thus, it proves itself to be highly useful. Some of the diseases treated by its compounds include a variety of cancers, diabetes, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and even malaria.
Vegetable Sheep Facts
- Appearing next in this compendium of 5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants comes the uniquely-named species known as the Vegetable Sheep.
- This bizarre looking object actually represents a highly unusual variety of Angiosperm. In English, it holds the intriguing common name. In the language of the Indigenous Peoples of its region, however, the plant bears the traditional name of tutāhuna.
- The official scientific name for the plant, meanwhile, remains that of Raoulia eximia. The remarkable flora received that appellation during its first recorded formal recognition as a species, in 1864. It formerly held several other technical names, as well.
- Researchers currently place the plant in the Aster Family. The renowned British botanist, Joseph Dalton Hooker, holds the distinction of being the one to recognize it. He was also a highly respected explorer, and close personal friend of Charles Darwin.
- For the moment, the magnificent Vegetable Sheep appears to be maintaining a stable population base. That further seems to hold true throughout its native range. The IUCN, therefore, presently has no listing for it on the organization’s Red List.
- The fabulous flora nevertheless faces the same potential threats as every other species. Its small range makes it especially vulnerable to habitat loss. Its greatest threat, though, most likely consists of climate change, much like all other life on earth today.
Vegetable Sheep Physical Description
The amazing Vegetable Sheep qualifies as one of those wonders of Nature one must see to believe. It also has an outward appearance that’s difficult to accurately describe. That’s partly because, like its relatives, it has a highly variable, as well as quite irregular, general shape.
As a general principle, though, individual specimens attain roughly equal measurements in height and width. More specifically, a typical full growth size equals about 3.3 ft ( 1m) in both dimensions. Exceptionally sized specimens do occur, though only rarely.
Its branches develop as short, but relatively very stout in structure. These, however, develop extremely close together. In point of fact, its branches are so tightly packed that the leaves of the plant can’t even be seen. They’re also tiny, being only a few millimeters long.
So compact is the outward portion of the Vegetable Sheep, in fact, that its buds never open. The general coloring, however, remains apparent to the eye. This most commonly develops as various shades of either gray or white. Shades of green also manifest occasionally.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperm
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asterceae
- Genus: Raoulia
- Species: R. eximia
Vegetable Sheep Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most unfortunately, the astonishing Vegetable Sheep evolved as native to a highly restricted range. That’s due to the fact that its only known concentration appears on the island country of New Zealand. Even there, though, its range remains further restricted.
That’s because this marvel of Nature only lives on one of the two islands. In this case, it appears on the one named South Island. There, the unusual flora mostly makes appearances from northern Southland to Marlborough. That places it east of the main divide.
Its potential habitat remains further limited by its own nature. That’s due to the fact that it evolved to live at a range of altitudes that runs from alpine to sub-alpine. In these regions, it appears in extremely rugged areas. These include cliff faces, and spots of scree and talus.
The flowers of the amazing Vegetable Sheep, such as they are, generally develop between November and January. The fruits that follow do so most typically from January to April. Researchers still know very little about how the Angiosperm achieves its pollination.
Both the attention-grabbing common name in English and its original native name have the same origin. These derive from its appearance, said by some to resemble a sheep. Its limbs develop so tightly packed that one can sit on the plant without doing harm.
Chatham Island forget-me-not
Chatham Island forget-me-not Facts
- Closing out this article about 5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants comes the one so unforgettable, it’s even in its name, the Chatham Island forget-me-not.
- Quite obviously, as its common name suggests, the gorgeous variety of flora remains a species you one will not soon forget. Sadly, however, this marvelous work of Nature and the processes of evolution only appears in an extremely restricted range.
- This heartbreaking situation quite understandably creates many problems for the beautiful species. Quite surprisingly, however, the IUCN itself does not yet formally list a status for this beautiful plant. The reason for this continues to be insufficient data.
- Most experts in the field nevertheless consider the future of wondrous creation of natual processes to be severely threatened. As a direct result of this situation, the Angiosperm could appear on the Red List of Threatened Species in the near future.
- Due to the combination of a highly restricted habitat range and an extremely specific habitat, it faces multiple threats. It not only remains vulnerable to climate change, but the majority of its native habitat has also now been claimed for coastal development.
- Numerous other dangers also place the Chatham Island forget-me-not in danger. These other risks include the danger of trampling by tourists, rooting by both wild and domestic animals. The encroachment of non-native species further now threatens it.
Chatham Island forget-me-not Physical Description
The fabulous species known as the Chatham Island forget-me-not continues to surprise many people. It further manages to do this in more than one way. That’s partly due to the fact that, despite its rather delicate nature, the lovely plant attains a respectable size.
More precisely, though, it often grows in patches that reach measurements of up to 3 ft (1 m) high. These additionally can sometimes reach 3-4.5 ft (1 – 1.5 m) in width. This magnificent flora, however, has more wonders to behold than just its respectable size.
In point of fact, the contrast between its foliage and blooms also remains worthy of notice for those who appreciate the botanical marvel. Although the dark green leaves of the plant grow relatively large, the beautiful and delicate flowers remain quite small in size.
These flowers of the Chatham Island forget-me-not also appear in small clumps on slender stems. Each of the remarkable folige shows a dark blue on the lower half, fading to lighter toward the exterior. These lovely blooms also average around 0.6 in (15 m) in diameter.
Yet the wonders of this beautiful species do not simply stop here. That holds true due to the nature of the fruit of the plant itself. Seemingly disproportionately to the rest of the plant, the fruit of the Eudicot itself averages only about 0.4 – 0.6 in (10 – 15 mm) in diameter.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Boraginales
- Family: Boraginaceae
- Genus: Myosotidium
- Species: M. hortrensia
Chatham Island forget-me-not Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Its own common name gives a clear indication of the highly restricted endemic habitat range of this delicate beauty. That holds true because of the fact that the beautiful Chatham Island forget-me-not only grows naturally in one small region of the entire world.
There’s more, though. This tiny zone of habitation further consists of only a few of the Chatham Islands, in New Zealand. Despite its seemingly rather fragile nature, this remarkable plant grows naturally in specific locations normally adverse to delicate plants.
This incredible plant therefore originally evolved to thrive in a truly amazing habitat. That’s because it grows along both rocky and sandy beaches, coastal cliffs, and various rock outcroppings. The exact reasons for this evolutionary path remain a mystery, though.
This species also distinguishes itself from related species in still another manner. That consists of its blooming pattern. Amazingly, this marvel of Nature typically produces its lovely small flowers between the months of September and November in its native habitat.
The fruit the Chatham Island forget-me-not produces also does so with comparatively large, black seeds. These usually appear between October and May. Although it now nears extinction in its native habitat, the plant remains a popular garden plant in some regions.
5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants
We sincerely hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed reading, and hopefully learning from, this article about 5 Island-Evolved Herbaceous Plants. It’s also our fervent hope that having done so leaves you with a new or renewed appreciation for the beauty of Nature.
Regrettably though, many of their kindred, along with countless species of all kinds, now find themselves in dire peril. They face numerous threats of varying kinds. It’s up to each and every one of us to do all that we can to preserve and protect them for posterity.