Plant pages  
plant pages
The Moringa Home Page
This page gives information on all of the species of Moringa, the only genus in the plant family Moringaceae. If you are looking for information about food, forage, oil, or water purification, go directly to the Moringa oleifera page.  

Moringa oleifera leaf-yum!
The Pedilanthus Page
Find out about this bizarre member of the Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family) that grows in desert, tropical dry forest, and cloud forest. Despite this great range of habitats, there only a dozen or so species of Pedilanthus, all of which occur in Mexico.

Pedilanthus cymbiferus inflorescence
The Wild Poinsettia Page
The Poinsettia,  Euphorbia pulcherrima, along with 20 or so other species, makes up the subgenus Poinsettia. These strange plants, almost all Mexican, are as remarkable for their diversity of life form as for their colorful inflorescences.

wild poinsettia from Chiapas

The Pittocaulon Page
will show you some of these strange Mexican members of the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). Looking like small trees made out of broomsticks, the members of Pittocaulon can be found along an elevational span from 300m to 3000m!

Senecio pracox in the dry season  
The Welwitschia Page
Forget any science fiction ever invented. This plant from the Namib Desert of southwestern Africa may be the weirdest organism in the universe.

Welwitschia mirabilis

The Tropical Cactus Page
Most people associate cacti with deserts. But cactus diversity and density of individuals is highest within the tropics. This page shows images of cacti from these areas. 
Fat coryphantha from the Balsas River Basin, Mexico
The Dry Tropical Legume Page
It is impossible to visit dry tropical areas without noticing members of the Legume Family. This is because a huge proportion, sometimes more than half, of the species are Legumes.This page gives only the smallest glimpse of this amazing family. 
Dichrostachys inflorescence

Bursera simaruba and related species The genus Burserais one of the most remarkable evolutionary raditations of Mexico's tropical drylands. More than 80 of  the world's 100 Bursera species are found in Mexico! Learn about one remakable group of species here.
The Mexican clade of Manihot
Cassava, Manihot esculenta, feeds nearly a billion people in the tropics. Nevertheless, little is known about the rest of the species in the genus. On this page, we provide images of some of the 25 species of Manihot from Mexico to show the amazing diveristy of life form in this group.

The Beaucarnea-Calibanus clade
Some of the strangest plants in the Mexican flora come from this group of monocots, in the family Nolinaceae. These plants range from tall tropical wet forest trees to tiny dryland "shrubs", but in all cases have swollen water storing bases and thick bark.

This small family, mostly made up of Mexican endemics, spans an outrageous range of shapes and habitats, from spiny canelike desert shrubs to fat botte trees of tropical dry forest.
Fouquieria purpusii

- research - images of the dry tropics - exploration - acknowledgements

Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Circuito Exterior s/n, Ciudad Universitaria
Copilco, Coyoacán A. P. 70-367
C. P. 04510, México, D. F.

(52) 55 5622-9127 fon (52) 55 5555-1760 fax

all material © 2006 Mark E Olson