Galapagos Plants

The Galapagos Plants possibly began with spores and seeds carried by the winds and stopped by the newly formed Islands.


Another theory states that maybe plants in Galapagos started by seeds stuck to feet and plumage of migratory birds, or passed through their digestive system.

Galapagos Plant (Scalesia Gordilloi)

Galapagos plants

Or perhaps via chunks of vegetation rushed to the sea by overflowing rivers and conducted throughout the ocean by the marine currents. All or one of these reasons could have brought the plants of Galapagos to life.

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It happened then, it happens now. Not all seeding can "fuse" with the rocky land. Only those with simple germination necessities, can adapt to the barren environment to "survive and evolve" in forms growing every day.

Going from shores to highlands, it has been agreed to define five zones of Galapagos Vegetation life in these Islands:

1.- Coastal: The sea borders are apt to salt water Galapagos plants like the "Red Mangrove", with its typical aerial roots in Isabela and Santa Cruz and the Beach Morning Glory abundant in Santiago.

2.- Desert: Cacti territories! Among a good variety, the big and famous "Opuntia Cactus", (prickly-pear) in many places the only source of food and moisture for reptiles and the graceful Candelabra Cactus.

Among the newer black lavas you find Brachycereus Cactus (or aptly called lava cactus). More about Galapagos Cactus

Another typical of the zone, and common on all large Islands, is a bursera of light bark called Palo Santo (holy wood), after the reddish sap that bleeds from wounds.

3.- Humid: Epiphytes like orchids, mosses, ferns and lichens thrive in this zone's constant moisture and ornate trees and shrubs with color and charm.

Typical at this degree of humidity are the plants of Galapagos called Scalesias and Pisonias.

Not much is said about the highlands of the Galapagos Islands, but in reality this is a cloud forest with unique features.

4.- Miconia: Particular to San Cristobal and Santa Cruz, this zone is named after the ever present Miconias that require high humidity.

5.- Pampa: In the populated Islands of Galapagos this is farmland or Pampas. The temperature is low and grass is abundant; good to cultivate commercial products and raise cattle.

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Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading! There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers. Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in. Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier. But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you. Small, well-priced, and reliable!

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table. This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!

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If you have questions about the Galapagos Islands, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and of you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Island Cruises to visit this Archipelago, You can Contact us here

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