Palmyra

Atoll Plant Life 

Palmyra is the only undeveloped forested atoll in the U.S. tropical Pacific. It is situated in an area known as the intertropical convergence zone, where trade winds from the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere meet, just above the equator. As the winds meet, they create a phenomenon known as the doldrums: light winds and heavy precipitation. 

As a result, Palmyra receives more than 175 inches of rain annually and supports one of the region's last surviving stands of Pisonia gradis coastal forest. These gnarled white giants tower over 100 feet while rooted in coral and sand less than 10 feet above sea level.

Introduced coconut groves and a variety of native trees, ferns and shrubs are also abundant. 

Other Native Flora

  • Bird's nest fern
  • Tree heliotrope
  • Morning glory
  • Yellow nickers
  • St. Thomas bean
  • Naupaka
  • Fish poison tree
  • Bar bush
  • Hala
  • Herandia

 

 

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