Where can a giant species of bamboo plant grow as much as nine inches (22 centimeters) every day? What place is known as the "Lungs of the Earth? If you guessed the Amazon rainforest in Central America, you are correct. The Amazon Biome is huge; in fact it is twice as big as India. It covers parts of Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Bolivia, Suriname, and French Guiana.
Of all the interesting Amazon Rainforest plant facts, the most important one may be the fact that many have both medicinal and even anti-cancer properties. Kids who have Leukemia may someday be cured thanks to the plants of the Amazon. What scientists fear, however, is that continual deforestation is having a negative impact on these important plants. When trees and plants are destroyed, potentially life- saving species can be lost forever. Read on to learn more about why Amazon plants are so important.
General Amazon Rainforest Plant Facts
- The Amazon Rainforest is home to more than two-thirds of the world's population of plant species.
- The Amazon Rainforest's 1,500 different flowering plants and 750 types of trees can all be found in one four square mile area.
- There is a very distinctive circle of life in the Amazon. The plants depend on the animals for pollination and the animals depend on the plants for food, shelter and homes. Often when there are plant species that are no longer found, there are also animals species that are no longer found or that face extinction.
- The soil in which the plants and trees of the Amazon grow tends to be very poor.
Amazon Rainforest Plant Adaptation Facts
- The reason why many Amazon plants have had to adapt is so that they can thrive in the hot, humid, and wet environment of the rainforest.
- Because of the heavy rainfall in the Amazon, many trees and plants have adapted with curved tips so that the rainwater will run off them easily.
- Every few months the Amazon River floods. Many of the trees in the Amazon have adapted to the heavy flooding by only growing straight up and produce branches only on the top.
- The Emergent Layer trees grow to heights of over 130 feet (40 meters) in order to get the needed amount of sunlight.
Amazon Rainforest Plant Species Facts
- The Kapok Tree is the largest and most important species in the Amazon. As part of the Emergent Layer, it can reach great heights providing shelter for animals and sunlight for plants living on it. Parts of the tree are also used for treating a variety of illnesses.
- The flora of the Amazon contain ingredients used in making herbal medicines.
- There are hundreds of species of orchids in the Amazon which do their part in adding to the vibrant beauty of the forest.
- Pineapple is just one of 2,000 bromeliad species found throughout the Amazon. Bromeliads are found in many bright colors and all store rainwater in their leaves.
- Heliconia flowers which are also called Wild Plantain, Parrot Flowers and False Birds of Paradise are plentiful in the Amazon. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and only allow a bird with a specialized beak to reach the nectar.
- The Coco Plant, White Trillium Flower, Trumpet Tree and Castor Beans, all found in the Amazon Rainforest, are used for many types of medicinal purposes.