Flora of Indonesia

The flora of Indonesia consists of many unique varieties of tropical plants. Blessed with a tropical climate and around 18,000 islands, Indonesia is a nation with the second largest biodiversity in the world. The flora of Indonesia reflects an intermingling of Asian, Australian and the native species. This is due to the geography of Indonesia, located between two continents. The archipelago consists of a variety of regions from the tropical rain forests of the northern lowlands and the seasonal forests of the southern lowlands through the hill and mountain vegetation, to subalpine shrub vegetation. Having the second longest shoreline in the world, Indonesia also has many regions of swamps and coastal vegetation. Combined together, these all give rise to a huge vegetational biodiversity. There are about 28,000 species of flowering plants in Indonesia, consisting 2500 different kinds of orchids, 6000 traditional medicinal plants used as Jamu., 122 species of bamboo, over 350 species of rattan and 400 species of Dipterocarpus, including ebony, sandalwood and teakwood. Indonesia is also home to some unusual species such as carnivorous plants. One exceptional species is known as Rafflesia arnoldi, named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and Dr. Arnold, who discovered the flower in the depths of Bengkulu, southwest Sumatra. This parasitic plant has a large flower, does not produce leaves and grow on a certain liana on the rain forest floor. Another unusual plant is Amorphophallus titanum from Sumatra. Numerous species of insect trapping pitcher plants (Nepenthes spp.) can also be found in Borneo, Sumatra, and other islands of the Indonesian archipelago.

Peel it off but don't throw it out - that skin is packed full of nutrients

The next time you have a piece of fruit or veg, think twice before tossing out the skin.

Tuesday, 8 November, 2011, 12:00am

Liquid heaven

Water apples go by many names, including wax apples and rose apples. I prefer the first one, because it describes the crisp, thirst-quenching quality of the fruit. The water apple is available in many colours, ranging from pale yellow-green to deep red. No matter what its colour, though, the fruit is bell-shaped and has glossy edible skin.

29 May 2011 - 12:00am

Gavin Coates

IN FROM THE COLD As a teenager, I was not very sociable but I got really interested in horticulture and natural history. I have always been able to draw and I thought landscape architecture would combine both interests. I studied in Leeds [in England] in 1975 and then worked for Brian Clouston and Partners, which in those days was a titan of the landscaping world.

7 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

Only the king of durians will do for casino tycoon with a taste for the stinky fruit

Owning a private jet is more than just a status symbol - apart from showing that you're extremely rich and can travel in style, it also allows you to fly in your favourite food from anywhere in the world and at any time.

17 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

Thick skinned

A friend once commented that the pomelo looks like a pumped-up, steroid-popping grapefruit. In reality, the fruit itself isn't that huge - it's just surrounded by a thick layer of natural 'packaging'; depending on the variety, the skin can be upwards of 2cm thick.

20 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

Deep purple

The mangosteen is an unassuming-looking fruit. To those who have never tried one, it seems a mystery: how do you get inside? The purple shell is firm and smooth with no gaps in which to insert a knife to pry it open, and even the leaves and stem seem unyielding.

24 May 2009 - 12:00am

Edible landscapes

Next time you're told not to play with the vegetables on your plate, think of Carl Warner - for both inspiration and as an alibi.

The London-based photographer specialises in creating art from food.

4 May 2009 - 12:00am

It may stink, but at least it will make you look younger

Durian: a miracle beauty ingredient? That's what skincare doctor Howard Murad suggested to cosmetic journalists and spa representatives at Azure on Friday afternoon. The renowned dermatologist claims the stinky fruit does wonders for your skin. He's even incorporated the fruit, minus the smell, into his latest anti-ageing serum.

17 Nov 2008 - 12:00am

Stinky plants and animals

Corpse Flowers

Choose the correct alternative:

We keep flowers in the house for their lovely sent/scent. But there are flowers that smell really bad.

Some flowers smell like rotting meat. These flowers are nicknamed corpse flowers. They are also called carrion (pronounced carry-on) flowers because carrion is a word for rotting meat.

5 Nov 2008 - 12:00am

Spanking Goals & Toe Pokes

Spanking Goals & Toe Pokes

by Tommy Martin

Proverse Hong Kong, HK$98

17 Aug 2008 - 12:00am

Caught in the urban jungle

Ten 'champion trees' in urban areas

1 White jade orchid

Zoological and Botanical Gardens

Largest tree of species and tallest urban tree in Hong Kong

35 metres tall, 24 metres wide

Pit too small for tree, surrounded by concrete

2 Large-leaved banyan

Garden Rd between St Joseph's Church and Helena May

18 Aug 2007 - 12:00am


The mangosteen is sometimes called the queen of fruits but, unlike the durian (which is considered the king), most people like the flavour immediately.

What is it? A small fruit with a thick, spongy, reddish-purple shell and a green cap. The flesh inside is soft, sweet and fragrant with a creamy texture.

22 Jul 2007 - 12:00am

Beijing urged to save rare timber

Global environmental group Greenpeace has warned the Chinese government that its international reputation could be further tarnished if it does not take action to tackle the rampant smuggling of timber from Indonesia.

18 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Flower bower

Last night my boyfriend's testicles were attacked by biting ants,' reads one comment in the guestbook at Khao Sok Rainforest Resort. Another remarks on a bird-eating spider discovered in a bathroom. More happily, greater numbers of people mention 'the flower'.

18 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

From head to toe

Chanel's new Allure Sensuelle (right) is a re-working of the original Allure fragrance and includes four bath and body products in the same scent. The eau de parfum (HK$380/35ml, HK$865/100ml) is a soft, oriental blend of vanilla, amber patchouli and a musk note. There's bergamot and citrus fruit, rose, jasmine and mandarin, with base notes of frankincense and pink pepper.

16 Jan 2007 - 12:00am