This page contains pictures of some of the plants that I saw in Borneo.

The highlights of the plant life are the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, and the huge insect-digesting Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes sp., german: Kannenpflanzen). Another highlight are the incredible number of orchid species in the Mt. Kinabalu park (1000 - 1200). Kinabalu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Rafflesias are parasites that grow on one kind of vine. The main part of the Rafflesia is a network of threads within the vine. Every so often, a flower emerges. It has up to eight or so leaves (the one I saw had 5 ½ leaves). The diameter of the flower can be up to 1 m (3 ft). The flower emits a light smell like dead animals. This attracts flies, which then pollinate the flower. The one I saw had a flower diameter of about 80 cm (31") (Rafflesia keithii).

The other spectacular plant is the pitcher plant. There are separate male and female pitcher plants for each species. The pitchers themselves are extensions of the tip of the leaves. They grow on both male and female plants. Some of the pitchers hold 3-4 liters (0.8-1.1 gallons) of fluid. The inside walls are very smooth, so insects cannot crawl on those walls.If an insect falls into the liquid in the pitcher, it can't get out anymore. The liquid contains enzymes that digest the insect, and the plant takes up the nutrients from the digested insect.

In Danum Valley I noted especially the Strangler Fig. Seeds of the Strangler Fig land on a tree. They grow multiple roots down to the forest floor, and branches up. Both wrap around the trunk of the host tree and grow steadily thicker, eventually strangling and killing the host tree. By that time the Strangler Fig's trunk and root system is strong enough to support itself, while the host tree dies. Eventually, only the Strangler Fig, hollow inside where the host tree decayed, is left standing.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Flora in Borneo

Dipterocarp Tree Types Trees
Dipterocarp tree. These types of trees have rough bark, so lianas grow on them. (1085k)
Mangaris Tree Types Trees
Mangaris tree. These types of trees have no bark and hard wood, so lianas cannot hold on to them. There were quite a few very large ones in the secondary growth forest. They are worthless as timber, so they were not cut down when the forest was harvested. (772k)
Huge Buttress Roots Large
Huge buttress roots of one of the large trees. (1063k)
Tree Strangler Fig Yet
Tree with Strangler Fig. This one is not yet too big for the tree. (1030k)
Tree Strangler Fig Already
Tree with Strangler Fig. This one is already covering most of the tree. (1050k)
Strangler Fig Tree Itself
Strangler Fig. The tree itself has already died, you can see through between the various parts of the Strangler Fig. (949k)
Tree Extensive Root System
Tree with extensive root system. (1060k)
Palm Tree Pattern Palm
Palm tree. The pattern of the palm fronds against the sky looks psychedelic. (1438k)
Rhizophora mangle
Red Mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, german: Rote Mangrove, french: Palétuvier rouge). (1049k)
Red Mangrove Seedling Fall
Red Mangrove seedling. When they fall down, they stick in the mud, take root and grow another mangrove. (512k)
Rings Mangrove Swamp Don't
Rings in the Mangrove swamp. I don't know what causes them. (804k)
Bamboo
Bamboo. (1273k)
Very Young Bamboo Shoot
Very young bamboo shoot. This shoot is only a couple of days old. They grow VERY fast. (911k)
Insets Doing Number Leaves
Insets were doing a number on the leaves of this tree. (780k)
Interesting Looking Plant Growing
Interesting looking plant growing up the side of this tree. (830k)
Young Leaves Trees Red
The young leaves of many trees are red. They turn green when they mature. (1059k)
Rattan Spiny Stuff
Rattan. This is spiny stuff. (1296k)
Rattan Stem Spiny Stuff
Rattan stem. This is spiny stuff. (1054k)
Close-up Rattan Plant Big
Close-up of a rattan plant with the big thorns. (723k)
Ginger Plant Lots Different
Ginger plant. There were lots of different species of ginger in the forests. (741k)
Ginger Flowers
Ginger flowers. (637k)
Alocasia macrorrhizos
Elephant Ear (Alocasia macrorrhizos, german: Riesenblättriges Pfeilblatt, french: Oreille d'éléphant). (947k)
Plants Holes Leaves Better
These plants have holes in their leaves to better withstand strong winds. (639k)
Fern Rows Seed Capsules
Fern with rows of seed capsules. (584k)
Asplenium nidus
Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus, german: Nestfarn, french: Fougère nid d'oiseau). (825k)
Large Fern Growing Tree
Large fern growing on a tree. They are not parasites, they just use the tree as substrate, they don't get nutrients from the tree. (1416k)
Large Fern Growing Tree
Large fern growing on a tree. (767k)

?? (720k)
Dipteris conjugata
Fern (Dipteris conjugata). (850k)
Monophyllaea glauca
One-leaf Plant (Monophyllaea glauca). Each leaf is a separate plant. The whole plant consists of only one leaf. It is endemic to Borneo. (822k)
Monophyllaea pendula
One-leaf Plant (Monophyllaea pendula). Each leaf is a separate plant. The whole plant consists of only one leaf. It is endemic to Borneo. (825k)
Dawsonia longifolia
Moss (Dawsonia longifolia). This is the tallest moss in the world. It can grow up to 60 cm (24") high. (1066k)
Wondering Caused Regular Rows
I was wondering what caused these regular rows on holes in that leaf. The answer is in the next picture. (683k)
Leaves Grow Rolled Like
The leaves grow rolled up like in this picture. When a leaf-eating insect eats straight through the rolled up leaf, it creates the regular rows of holes. (527k)
Mangrove Seedling Seedlings Look
Mangrove seedling. The seedlings look like spears that drop from the parent and borrow in the mud under the parent. (1215k)
Sprouting Coconut
Sprouting coconut. (998k)
Eichhornia crassipes
Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes, german: Dickstielige Wasserhyazinthe, french: Jacinthe d'eau). This is a nasty invasive species. (595k)
Fruit Stands
Fruit stands. (1082k)
Heliconia sp.
Heliconia sp. (german: Helikonien). (506k)
Heliconia sp.
Heliconia sp. (german: Helikonien). (552k)
Flower
Flower. (535k)
Brugmansia sp.
Trumpet Flower on a tree (Brugmansia sp., german: Engelstrompeten, french: Trompette des anges). (619k)
Water Lily
Water lily. (485k)
Strange Looking Flower
Strange looking flower. (454k)
Purple Flower
Purple flower. (579k)
Bougainvillea spectabilis
Great Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis). (697k)
Hymenocallis littoralis
Beach Spider Lily (Hymenocallis littoralis). (557k)
Flower
Flower. (581k)
Hibiscus sp.
White hibiscus (Hibiscus sp., german: Hibiskus). (540k)
Hibiscus sp.
Yellow hibiscus (Hibiscus sp., german: Hibiskus). (540k)
Hibiscus sp.
Pink hibiscus (Hibiscus sp., german: Hibiskus). (566k)
Hibiscus sp.
Red hibiscus (Hibiscus sp., german: Hibiskus). (545k)
Paphiopedilum callosum
Callus Paphiopedilum (Paphiopedilum callosum). (490k)
Small Orchid
Small orchid. (393k)
Orchid
Orchid. (426k)
Orchid
Orchid. (452k)
Arundina graminifolia
Bamboo Orchid (Arundina graminifolia). (469k)
Renanthera bella
Orchid (Renanthera bella). (496k)
Nephelaphyllum aureum
Leaf Litter Orchid (Nephelaphyllum aureum). It is endemic to Borneo. (466k)
Nepenthes sp.
Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes sp., german: Kannenpflanzen). (1022k)
Nepenthes sp.
Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes sp., german: Kannenpflanzen). You can see that the pitcher is an extension of the tip of a leaf. It is endemic to Borneo. (1040k)
Nepenthes sp.
Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes sp., german: Kannenpflanzen). It is endemic to Borneo. (732k)
Nepenthes sp.
Large Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes sp., german: Kannenpflanzen). (687k)
Nepenthes rajah
Large Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes rajah). This pitcher holds 2 liters (0.5 gallons) of fluid or more. This plant is endemic to Borneo. (1240k)
Nepenthes rajah
Close-up of a Large Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes rajah). (848k)
Nepenthes sp.
Flowers of a Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes sp., german: Kannenpflanzen). (693k)
Rafflesia keithii
Rafflesia flower (Rafflesia keithii). On the right are several unopened Rafflesia buds. (1344k)
Rafflesia keithii
Rafflesia flower (Rafflesia keithii). This is the largest flower in the world. The one I saw was about 60 cm (24") across. It is endemic to Borneo. (1108k)
Close-up Rafflesia Flower
Close-up of the Rafflesia flower. (773k)
Dipterocarp Seed
Dipterocarp seed. (636k)
Tree Seeds Growing Trunk
Tree with seeds growing out of the trunk. (714k)
Pezizaceae gen.
Cup Fungus (Pezizaceae gen., german: Becherlingsverwandte). (488k)
Mushroom
Mushroom. (637k)
Mushroom
Mushroom. (622k)

This page contains 74 pictures with 21 species

Borneo
Main page for Borneo/Malaysia

Page last updated on Tue Apr 14 16:24:16 2020 (Mountain Standard Time)


Flora in Borneo on guenther-eichhorn.com


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