Come into bloom - Flora of Guam
Known as a paradise for the senses, Guam is a melting pot of all kinds of beauty. Its warm climate and rich soil makes it ideal for an array of wonderful species. Hidden beneath a colorful backdrop of swaying trees and foliage are a wide variety of flora introduced and indigenous to Guam.
Keep an eye out for the rainbow of flora
The Puti tai nobio, also known as the Bougainvillea, is the territorial flower of Guam. It grows in an array of colors including pink, white, red and orange and thrives in the island’s sunny climate. It is commonly found interwoven between fences, growing in various parks and residences, or decorating the streets of Tumon
Just as captivating is the Torchwood (Guasåli), which is indigenous to Guam. Its white leaves and trumpet-like shape makes it distinctive among the flora seen on the island. Also inhabiting this paradise are varieties of hibiscus, orchid, and plumeria that grow year-round.
When venturing through the jungle or strolling through Tumon, visitors can expect to see towering flame trees, bamboo shoots, breadfruit (lemai) trees, and a diversity of other species that offer several benefits. An acacia tree is known for its fire-resistant quality and its long taproots allow it to withstand periods of drought, making it an ideal plant during Guam’s dry season. The leaves of a coconut tree can be weaved into usable items like a bag or a hat. Breadfruit can be prepared by chopping the fruit and boiling it in coconut milk or frying it. The ifit tree is not only significant to the Chamorro culture, but is the territorial tree of Guam. Its sturdy wood can be used to build furniture, flooring and pillars, and to create magnificent carvings.
Another tree with significant cultural ties is the great banyan tree with its aerial roots that develop into thick trunks. Also known as the taotaomo’na tree, it is especially revered for its deep connection to the Chamorro culture and should be treated with the utmost respect. Many legends and traditions depict this powerful tree as a home for the ancestral spirits of the Chamorro people who live alongside the living.
Abundant with life, Guam is a natural playground waiting to be explored. With flowers and trees decorating the verdant foliage, these plants truly characterize the natural beauty found on Guam.
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