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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Popular Flora in the Maldives – Tenacious Flora Indeed

Did you know that the Maldives is comprised of over 99% water? Despite the odds, here are the land-based plants that managed to survive on the meager 1% of land owned by this island nation.


Coconut Palms

One of the most visible plants on the island, coconut palms have become almost a trademark of tropical exoticness. These trees can reach up to a towering height of around twenty-five metres. The coconut is an integral part of Maldivian cuisine and is used in many staple dishes such as mas huni which is a mix of fish, spices and shredded coconut flesh. The milk of the coconut is also used in many a Maldivian curry. The King Coconut, a variety of coconut tree, also grows in the Maldives and is very popular among the locals due to the liquid that can be found within the nuts, called king coconut water. This refreshing beverage is very cooling and great for hydration. Locals and foreigners alike simply love it, and many Maldives island resorts serve this item on their menus. So if you're staying a Maldivian resort such as Naladhu Maldives or any other, make sure to ask for this beverage when you need something thirst quenching to beat the heat!


Bread Trees

These trees are not an uncommon sight in the Maldives and form an important part of the Maldivian's staple diet. The fruit of the bread tree, known as breadfruit, is used in local dishes such as banbukeyo bondibai and banbukeyo riha, or breadfruit curry. Ever wonder as to the origins of the name, Bread Tree? The trees were named such owing to the consistency of the fruit after it had been cooked, which was similar to that of fresh bread straight from the oven. The fruit is said to have a flavour similar to the potato.



These trees are the epitome of tenacity. Mostly found along the shores, in between the sea and the land, these plants straddle the line between both worlds. Their long roots burrow into the water for survival and these plants are one of the few land-based ones that can handle the high salt levels found in seawater. A true survivor, this one!



These colourful blossoms can be found on many an island in the Maldives in an array of hues ranging from a vibrant and healthy summertime pink, to white and magenta coloured ones. The colour from this plant actually stems from the leaves, surprisingly enough, and not the flowers themselves which are usually white in colour. This plant falls under the category of the thorny ornamental vine, and sports two kinds of leaves; the normal green kind that everyone is familiar with, as well as some more uncommon flower-like spring leaves which surround its actual flowers. It is these spring leaves which add the hallmark vibrant colour to the Bougainvillea. The Maldives are not the only place that this plant can be found; Bougainvilleas are actually said to have originated in Brazil and other South American countries such as Peru.