The Flora of Madagascar


FEW naturalists will need reminding that Madagascar, the third largest island in the world, possesses a fauna and flora of exceptional interest. Although only 260 miles distant from the nearest point on the East African coast, its flora bears an almost equal relationship with that of the great continent and that of Ceylon, Malaya and even Australia, whilst its fauna, as pointed out long ago by Alfred Russel Wallace1, is almost exclusively related to that of Eastern Asia. Of equal interest is the fact that the language of the natives is closely related to those of Malay-Polynesia, whilst another remarkable feature is that they do not employ skins for clothing their bodies as do the natives in Africa, but make use of vegetable fibres as do the eastern peoples.

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  1. 1

    Wallace, Alfred Russel, “Island Life”, 388 (1880).

  2. 2

    "Flore de Madagascar” (Plantes vasculaires), publieé sous les auspices du gouvernment général de Madagascar et sous la direction de H. Humbert, Professeur au Museum Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle. Aponogetonaceæ, by H. Jumelle (1936); Cyperaceæ, by H. Chermezon (1937); Lemnaeeæ, by H. Jumelle (1937); Commelinacese, by H. Perrier de la Bathie (1938); Liliaceæ, by H. Perrier de la Bathie (1938); Bignoniaceæ, by H. Perrier de la Bathie (1939). (Tananarive, Imprimerie Officielle, 1936 ‘).

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HUTCHINSON, J. The Flora of Madagascar. Nature 145, 448–451 (1940).

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