What Are the Plants in Tropical Rainforests?


Tropical rainforests are rich habitats for flora and fauna, and more than two-thirds of the world's plant species are found here. The climatic conditions unique to the tropical rainforests are responsible for the presence of distinctive and diverse vegetation.


The emergents are huge trees between 100 and 240 feet in height. To support their size, they grow buttresses that can spread out to a distance of 30 feet. An example the emergent tree is the silk-cotton tree.


"Canopy" refers to closely spaced trees which are 60 to 130 feet high. These trees do not allow much sunlight to pass through to the forest floor because of their dense spacing and thick leaves. Epiphytes are plants that grow abundantly in a canopy (grow on the host, but unlike parasites, take no nutrients from the trees themselves). Orchids are the most commonly found epiphytes in a canopy.

Under a Canopy

These are the plants between the canopy and the forest floor, such as lianas, which can grow up to 60 feet in height.

Shrub Layer

This layer is very dense. Shrubs, ferns and other plants which need less light grow here. Saplings of bigger trees are also found here.

Ground Layer

Since this layer is devoid of sunlight, the vegetation mainly consists of fungi and other plants that can subsist under such conditions.

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