Aruba Eco Tours: Plant Diversity in Aruba
The year-long tropical climate in the Caribbean island of Aruba makes it a tourist hotspot. Owing to the island’s distance from mainland South America, Aruba has a rugged landscape with high biodiversity. Wide varieties of both flora and fauna can be found throughout the terrains of Aruba. While some of them are relative breeders, many are endemic to the tiny Caribbean island.
Aruba Nature Tours | Plants of Aruba
The permanent tropical climate in Aruba, combined with the availability of water resources results in high plant diversity. Some of them are endemic to Aruba. A few are native to the Caribbean islands while others were brought over from different nations by the Europeans.
Here is a list of the notable plants that can be seen in Aruba. You can go on aruba eco tours to have a peek at them.
1) Agave Pita
Agave plants are known for their ability to store large quantities of water within themselves. There are 4 available subspecies of agave plants in Arikok National Park. Often mistaken for a cactus, they belong to the asparagus family. A solid spurt in growth is seen after 7-8 years. The Pita plant looks like gigantic asparagus, 6-10 meters in length. Eco tours aruba helps explore aruba plants for all the nature enthusiasts. Surely one of the aruba things to do.
2) Cuco di Indjan or Pita
Agave arubensis is one of the two native species of Aruban agave spotted on aruba nature tours. They are endemic to the south of the Fontein region. The plant is ranked #1 in the list of Aruba’s endangered flora as prepared by the DNM. The plant appears in the shape of a rosette- with fleshy drought-resistant leaves and yellow flowers. Private eco tours allows you to explore nature in great depth.
3) Cuco di Indjan or Agave rutteniae
Agave rutteniae is another endemic agave plant ranking high on the endangered plants’ list. As per several reports, the plant has already become extinct. The few remaining plants are the last remaining survivors. The plant appears as a rosette with medium keeled greyish-green leaves.
4) Additional Agave Pita
There are 5 additional species of agave plants found in Aruba. A few of them were brought on earlier by Europeans. Aruba’s climate is ideal for the growth of these plants. These plants can often be seen growing freely ib open lands(Mondi). Often called ‘Century Plants’ in English, the plants grow to their full height quickly- with the stalk becoming full of yellow flowers. The bright flowers appeal to birds, bats, and insects alike.
5) Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has played a vital part in the Aruban economy for a long time. Aruba had become one of the largest exporters of aloe vera. The origin of aloe vera in Aruba can be traced back to Africa. Research however suggests that the best aloe vera(aloe barbadensis) are the ones sourced from Barbados. The succulent plant has been used worldwide for its medicinal properties since ancient times. In the Papiamento language, the yellow sap of aloe vera plants is known as Azeta. Azeta was traditionally used as a laxative. In Aruban culture, placing an aloe plant at the gate entrance is believed to bring good fortune.
6) Coconut Palm trees
The coconut trees, or Pali Coco as they are locally known, were first brought to Aruba by the Spanish from Cape Verde Islands. Historically, coconut palm plantations had been present along the river beds for several years. Plantations existed in several places like Diamari, Andicuri, and the now famous Palm Beach. The tree is useful for purposes ranging from landscape beautification where you can see them on aruba tours, edible food items, oil manufacture, basket-weaving, rope-making, covering roofs, matting, and many more. Each part of the coconut tree can be used to serve different purposes- earning it the apt “Tree of Life” title. Aruba eco tours lets you explore more about these plants if you’re a nature lover.
7) Watapana tree or Divi Divi tree
The watapana tree is very distinct in appearance- making its image symbolic to the Aruban brand. The tree can be easily spotted during any of the many private eco tours. The trademark westside pointing of the watapana trees can be attributed to the effect of the easterly trade winds. The trees consist of Dividivi pods. These tannin-containing pods were used earlier by the leather industry for leather processing. Nowadays, leaves and tannins from the tree are used for medicinal purposes.
8) Wayaka or the Lignum Vitae
The wayaka tree is native to the Caribbean region. Two of its subspecies grow throughout the ABC Dutch Caribbean islands- the Roughbark Lignum Vitae and the Holywood Lignum Vitae. The Aruban people call these trees by a different name- the wayaka tree. These evergreen trees grow slowly. Wayaka wood is extremely expensive. The wood obtained from wayaka trees is the second-heaviest in the world, with a density that allows it to sink in water. These properties made the wayaka wood an ideal choice for hardwood construction and carpentry. The resin obtained from these trees was used for medical purposes.
The trees have been overexploited which led to a placement in the IUCN’s Endangered Red List in 1998. Trading in wayaka wood was strictly regulated, which led to a significant increase in their numbers. They are found nowadays freely growing in protected national parks where you can view them on eco tours aruba.
CTA: Aruba Tours
Searching for alternatives to traditional tour packages in Aruba? Look no further than Aruba Nature Tours. The acclaimed tour service operator is known for organizing world-class private eco tours that highlight Aruba’s other side- a synergetic harmony with nature-rich in plant life and biodiversities. You can also skip past some of these and directly head over to an Organic Farming Tour- in case you are interested in farming. Contact fast- slots get filled pretty quick and there are lots of fun Aruba things to do.
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