The Amazon rainforest is a botanical treasure trove. At least one in ten known species can be found there, including the largest flower and widest tree in the world.
To start with, who better than David Attenborough?
Let’s learn about these amazing plants.
The Lianas grow from trees on the forest floor to reach sunlight from above! It has been nicknamed “the monkey vine” because it bounces as it grows, just like a long rubber band! Lianas like to live throughout South America and they come in all sorts of colors and patterns.
This video shows you exactly why the Liana survives so well – it’s from Borneo, but you find it there as well as in the Amazon rainforest:
Giant Water Lily
The Giant Water Lily is one of the largest flowers in the world. It grows on rivers, making its petals float on the water’s surface. The flower can grow to 36 inches across and has a hollow center that holds air so it can move around!
This amazing tree first appeared about 40 million years ago! Many other plants depend on its branches to spread their seeds,including the weasel, who eats fruit and then goes back to its den and poops out the seed without eating it. The seeds sprout and grow into new trees! Just like a plant helicoptering its seeds far and wide!
This vine is used by shamans for healing purposes. It has been used for hundreds of years in South America, helping to create “visions” of the future.
Brazil Nut Tree
Brazil nuts grow from the Brazil nut trees that live in the forest. Inside each pod there are about 20 seeds that we eat as nuts! They’re really good too! Scientifically speaking, Brazil nuts aren’t actually nuts at all … but seeds! In fact, coconut is also not a nut either… it’s a seed as well!!
Inca Berry Tree
The Inca Berry is used for making crafts and jewelry in South America. It can also be used as an ornament to grow on people’s Christmas trees!
Giant Rubber Tree Plant
The rubber tree is used around the world for its long elastic sap. You might have heard about tires made from them… and you probably know that they’re super stretchy! The sap creates a sort of wind-up spring, so it can bounce back after force, like when we kick a ball. That’s why it’s sometimes called the “bouncing rubber tree.”
Rubber trees are native to South America, and there are not many other places in the world where they can live because their roots need special soil conditions.
The Tourou is a tough tree that grows the hard part of its fruit on the outside! The rest of the fruit inside can be eaten, but it’s bitter and you need sticks to help get all the tiny seeds out! Another interesting fact about this tree is that its bark can come loose and “walk” anywhere it wants with roots growing behind it!
The papaya is a delicious treat from trees with sweet red fruits. It has been used for medicine, food and soap making by native tribes for centuries. When ripe they fall to the ground where birds enjoy eating their fleshy insides (yummy!). The seeds are left for new trees to grow.
This tree is also called the bottle tree because its fruit grows in shells that look like bottles!! They store water inside them, making them useful for explorers and wanderers. You can even drink out of their “bottle.”
The cupuaçu is another amazing plant with two types of food. On one side it has sweet white fruits… but on the other, there are tasty red ones! It needs help pollinating by insects since both sides flower at different times. Buckets can even be used to collect the sweet nectar underneath its leaves.
We all eat pineapples off of their spiky skin, right? But did you know that the pineapple plant has leaves shaped like shields to help them survive strong winds?! The leaves also have holes in them so they can breathe out hot air while letting cool air in … and even in some cases, water!
Brazilian Pepper Tree
Did you know that the berries of this tree are used to make fireworks? They’re super hot, but it’s okay! The birds won’t eat them because their skin is too tough! Even the sap of these trees will burn your skin if you get into an argument with someone and they spit on you!!
You probably know about this one already. The Cacao tree is where chocolate comes from! It makes for a yummy treat on some sweets, but can also be used to make medicine or more tasty treats like cake and ice cream!
The Arnica is known for its super pretty flowers. But did you know, if it didn’t have thorns on the outside of itself… intruders would eat all the food inside?! That’s why even though these guys are pretty on the outside, they’re bad news on the inside.
This tree is very hard to grow because it only grows naturally on one mountain slope in Venezuela. It is so dense that it sinks while it floats, so sometimes boats also use them as their hulls! The wood of this tree makes excellent tools and weapons. It has been an important material for making canoes since ancient times.
Gold Coin Plant
The Gold Coin Plant got its name from all the little round “coins” that line its stalk, but if you eat too many you might get a stomach ache!
Everyone eats bananas, don’t they? Well maybe you know that not all of them grow on trees… but did you know that even though all the bananas look unique and strange, they come from a single plant?!
The ACHUAL TREE (Pseudobombax ellipticum) is considered by the natives to be sacred because it creates shade and also can help find water deep in the ground! There are many uses for this tree; traditionally, people use its wood for weaponry and tools, make rope out of its bark, drink a tea made from the bark that is good for stomach aches and used as shampoo. Its beautiful flowers can be dried into an aromatic flower that keeps bugs away! It likes growing near rivers where it has easy access to drinking water.
This vine is very long; in some cases, vines can grow longer than 130 feet! It can’t move around so it wraps itself around trees and poles to hang from. But if one of these vines ever gets wrapped around a tree, it could be in for a bad time … because the Anaconda Vine has sharp leaves that cut into the bark of a tree and suck out all its juices!
Blue Passion Flower
The passion flower is an endangered plant from Brazil. Because their seeds are large and heavy they have been used for many years by birds to migrate from place to place. In some cultures, this plant is considered sacred! In Brazil, when someone offers you a drink with passion fruit in it, they’re saying “I like you.” They also like to use passion fruit while making sweets and liquor.
Blue Begonia Tree
The Blue Begonia Tree is a very famous tree because it’s pretty and also has some tasty seeds on the inside of its flowers! People use these seeds as a medicine to stop a fever or even help with a sore throat. Some people like to eat them raw, but most just cook them up in some delicious chocolate pudding! Its leaves are so decorative, they’re used for decorations all over the world. The wood from these trees can be made into things such as paper pulp, charcoal and toothpicks!
This magnificent tree was named after an Italian princess who visited Brazil during the late 1400s. She admired this tree so much that she told everyone back home about it. Scientists later found that this tree is extremely valuable! It has a beautiful, soft wood that can be made into furniture and lots of other things. The bark makes a good water repellant for paper and soap-making. The leaves are a rich source of energy because they contain Vitamin C!
Here’s a news item about the Albizia tree!
The Jatoba Tree is one of the heaviest hardwoods in the world! Its branches droop way down low which helps its roots stay close to the ground where it finds precious water to drink. In fact, sometimes its roots can reach out as far as 100 feet underground!! People love these trees because their sturdy “legs” support heavy gadgets such as microwaves and computers without breaking under pressure.
The Tamarillo Tree is so good for you it’s considered to be a superfood! Its fruit has lots of Vitamin C and can even help with digestion problems. Don’t eat the seed inside though, because it will poison your body! It likes hot weather because that’s where its seeds grow best — right under the sun.
This tree is very important to native tribes in Brazil because they use its leaves as a medicine when someone in their tribe gets sick. It tastes awful but if you drink enough you can trick your stomach into feeling better! The branches are great kindling for starting fires, too. Trees love this plant because it grows in poor soil without needing much water. So when there’s a drought and there’s not much water to go around, the other plants don’t mind that this one gets extra.
This tree is perfect because it provides lots of fruit for animals to eat while also giving them somewhere to live! Its bark can be used as a natural fertilizer and its leaves provide shelter from the sun. It loves flowering during springtime but hates ending up in your perfume collection because it smells like roadkill!
These beautiful trees are very popular because they grow flowers of all different colors. Some even live up to four feet tall! Their leaves are used for feeding cattle, but if you eat their fruit it will make your mouth sour for days! When you feel sick in the forest and need a tasty snack, this is the tree to help you out.