Fiji Vacation: Identifying Fiji’s Famous Tropical Plants & Flora
Taveuni is aptly nicknamed the Garden Island of Fiji. This fitting designation is a nod to the vast amount of lush, tropical jungle that still covers this island. To ensure Taveuni always stays green and vibrant, the Fijian government has designated huge swaths of Taveuni as protected land.
While logging, clearing, and other damaging activities are forbidden, these national parks, such as Bouma National Heritage Park are open to visitors. And hiking in the jungle is certainly a favorite activity for any Fiji vacation.
Wondering what plants you’ll see as you explore Taveuni? We’ve collected all the information you need to feel informed on a jungle hike.
The Diversity of Plant Species in Fiji
Immediately you’ll see that the Fijian jungle is incredibly beautiful. A plethora of gorgeous, tall, tropical trees reach towards the sky, while ferns, moss, and flowers cover the jungle floor. Within these two strata are a wide diversity of plant species, which certainly adds to the jungle’s visual appeal.
So, exactly how many plant species exist on Taveuni and throughout Fiji? Some estimates say there are over 2,600 different plant species on these islands. Of these, researchers and botanists predict that approximately 113 are flora or flowering plants. However, all of these numbers are rough estimates of the jungle’s plant diversity, as just in the past 10 years a number of new species were discovered.
What we do know is that there are several species of flora and fauna unique to Fiji, and some of these are endangered today. Making it even more imperative that protected areas, such as Bouma National Heritage Park and Taveuni National Park, remain undisturbed and healthy.
Eye-Catching Trees on Taveuni
The Fijian jungle is renowned for its colorful flora and inspiring trees. Whether you look up or down, there will be plants that catch your eye and intrigue the senses. Wondering what you’re likely to see?
For those in the know, Fiji’s jungle is famous for its palm trees.
You literally can’t miss seeing these massive trees while on Taveuni, as they are everywhere. But what you might not realize is there are several varieties of palm trees thriving in Fiji’s jungle – 31 species to be exact. Two favorites are the coconut palm and the Fiji fan palm tree. As you probably know, the coconut palm produces Fiji’s favorite “food,” the delicious and refreshing coconuts. On the other hand, the Fiji fan palm tree is beloved for its broad, beautiful leaves.
All the Colors of Fiji’s Flowers
Perhaps more fascinating than Fiji’s trees are the Fijian jungle’s colorful flora. You can’t walk through the jungle without taking note of the ruby reds, stunning yellows, and gorgeous pinks that characterize Fiji’s flowers. Among the plants most likely to catch your eye are gardenias, frangipanis, hibiscus, orchids, and ginger plants, when they flower.
However, on Taveuni, there is one flower that stands apart from all the rest. The Tagimoucia flower is found on Taveuni, and nowhere else in the world. The origins of the beautiful and unique Tagimoucia flower are told in one of Fiji’s favorite fables.
According to the legends, there was once a princess that lived on Taveuni. She was betrothed to a man by order of her father, but she was madly in love with another man. She pled with her father to release her from the predetermined marriage, but he refused. In desperation, the princess fled into Taveuni’s dense jungle. She ran until she couldn’t run any farther. As she sat along the banks of a lake, deep in the jungle, she wept. And those tears of deep sadness and forbidden love seeped into the ground, eventually to grow again as the Tagimoucia flower.
Taveuni Jungle Right at Your Doorstep
You can enjoy Taveuni’s jungle right at Raiwasa. The three-acre, private property that surrounds Raiwasa’s stunning villa is filled with some of the island nation’s most beautiful and intriguing plant life.
In our garden, you can take an up-close look at these plants and explore Fiji’s jungle without leaving your “home” on Taveuni. We highly recommend taking a walk in our garden on your first afternoon at Raiwasa; we know it will become a special place of solitude, relaxation, and comfort throughout your Fiji vacation.