Vegetable species

Plant species that you will find during your visit

BIOPARC Valencia is home to careful vegetation that is absolutely integrated into the landscape and distributed to provide harmony and rhythm during the visit to the park. The most representative African plant species in BIOPARC are detailed below.



Family: Fabaceae

Origin: East and southern Africa.

Features: They are trees that usually reach a height of 15-25 meters. They have a characteristic soft, brittle and greenish-yellow bark, although beforehand the buds are purple and when peeled they naturally show yellow. It is one of the few trees that also photosynthesizes with the bark. Stiff white thorns grow in pairs on the branches. The leaves are doubly compound, with small leaflets measuring 8 x 2 mm. The flowers appear in spherical inflorescences of pale cream color, scented and grouped at the nodes, towards the ends of the branches. Acacia xanthophloea is a fast-growing and short-lived tree. It forms stands of contemporaneous individuals that dry out at the same time, which is attributed to elephants, water tables, and synchronous senescence.



Family: Fabaceae

Origin: South Africa

Features: This tree usually has a height of between 4 and 8 meters. Sometimes it can reach 12 meters, and even specimens of up to 17 have been found. It has a rounded crown, branching quite low on the trunk. The bark is red on young branches, darkening with age. The leaves are fine textured and dark green. The abundant yellow flowers appear at the beginning of summer, or after rain. The pods are narrow, flat and crescent-shaped. They are green when young which turn brown when dried. The pods open allowing the seeds to fall to the ground. The spines are paired, grayish to white, and long and straight. The density of Acacia karroo wood is about 800-890 kg/m³.



Family: Fabaceae

Origin: Africa and southwest Asia

Features: The flat-topped acacia is a thorny tree that lives on plains, gentle slopes and depressions in the terrain, as well as in semi-desert and desert areas with a not very extreme climate. In the Saharan mountain ranges it rises to 2000 meters. It is a thorny, deciduous and hermaphroditic tree, like the other species of the genus in the region, up to 14 meters high and with a more or less parasol bearing. Well-defined trunk, straight or slightly tortuous, up to one meter in diameter, with bark that comes off in elongated scales. Widely branched spreading branches. Thorns in pairs, straight. Leaves alternate, bipinnate. Axillary inflorescence in globose, yellow or yellowish-white chapters, solitary or in small groups. Campanular calyx. Yellowish tubular-campanular corolla. Very numerous stamens. The fruit is an elongated legume. Brown-blackish seeds. It blooms at the end of summer and sometimes also in winter.



Family: Lauraceae

Origin: Far East, it is also common in China, Japan and Taiwan.

Features: It is a large evergreen tree, with fragile branches, that reaches 20 meters in height. The leaves are alternate, petiolate, oval in shape, leathery and acuminate, bright green in color and with three main nerves that have small glands in their axils. The flowers are yellowish white and appear in May-June. The fruit is a reddish globe-shaped berry that turns black when ripe.



Family: Fabaceae.

From Mediterranean Basin

Features: The carob is a tree up to 10 meters high, although its average height is 5 to 6 meters; It is dioecious and has evergreen foliage. It has paripinnate dark green leaves measuring between 10 and 20 cm long. The fruit, called carob or carob, is a dark brown leathery pod, 1 to 3 dm in length, which contains a rubbery pulp with a sweet and pleasant flavor that surrounds the seeds. The pods are edible and used as fodder. The carob is a species of great hardiness and resistance to drought, but it develops slowly and only begins to bear fruit after about seven to ten years from planting, obtaining its full productivity after fifteen or twenty years. Digestive processes do not affect the germination viability of the seeds, which favors long-distance dispersal by fruit consumers.



Family: araliaceae

Origin: Rainforests in Australia (eastern Queensland and the Northern Territory), New Guinea and Java.

Features: It is an evergreen tree that grows to 15 meters high. It has medium green compound leaves in groups of seven leaves. It usually has multiple trunks and the flowers develop in the upper part of the tree. It often grows as an epiphyte on other rainforest trees. It produces clusters up to 2 meters long containing up to 1000 small opaque red flowers. Flowering begins in early summer and typically continues for several months.



Common name: Bamboo Palm Tree

Family: arecaceae

Origin: Humid tropical forests from Malaysia to the Solomon Islands.

Features:  It is a small to medium-sized palm tree that can exceed several meters in height, with branches from the base. It usually measures 1.5 to 3 meters high, but can reach up to 6 meters depending on the branches it has. The leaves are arched, 2-3m long, and pinnate, with 20-60 pairs of leaflets. It produces yellowish fruits that turn blackish and white flowers. It is called a bamboo palm because of its similarity to bamboo, due to its ringed branches.



Family: Moraceae.


Features:  Ficus rubiginosa is found on the edges of rainforests, ravines and rocky hills. It forms a dense and extensive shade tree when mature, and can grow up to 30 meters high. Its ovate to elliptical leaves are 6 to 10 cm long on 1 to 4 cm petioles. Often developing in pairs, figs are yellow and when ripe they turn red, have a small nipple at the end and are on a 2 to 5 mm stem. It is pollinated by fig wasps of the genus Pegoscapus or Pleistodontes. In humid, tropical climates, the lower branches of the Port Jackson fig can form aerial roots which reach the ground, forming secondary root systems.



Family: Fabaceae.

Origin: Mediterranean coast

Features: It is an evergreen tree of medium size, although it can appear in bushy form, conditioned by the rainfall characteristics or the terrain in which it is found, and it can reach 16 to 25 meters in height. The underside of the leaves is covered with a grayish fuzz that comes off when rubbed. These leaves, very hard and leathery, prevent excessive transpiration of the plant, which allows it to live in dry places with great exposure to the sun, such as the Mediterranean shore. The bark is smooth and grayish green on the stems; It darkens as they grow and, around 15 or 20 years old, it cracks in all directions, leaving a very dark trunk, practically black. Flowering occurs between the months of March and May, when the average temperature reaches 20 °C and 10 hours of sun daily, after a period of stress. The fruits of the holm oak are the acorns, which are dark brown glans when they mature (previously, logically green), shiny and with a characteristic dome formed by very tight and dense bracts, which cover them for approximately one third of their size. .



Family: Cycadaceae.

Origin: Native forests of Sri Lanka.

Features:  The trunk of this species (queen sago) can reach 6,1 meters in height. The dark leaves grow up to 2,4 m. The seeds are poisonous because they contain the neurotoxin Beta-methylamino-L-alanine, the potent poison in the seeds is eliminated by soaking the seeds in water. After several water changes, the seeds are dried and ground into flour. The flour is used to make tortillas, tamales, soups and porridge. It is of high medicinal value.



Family: cycadaceae

Origin: South of Japan.

Features: This highly symmetrical plant supports a crown of glossy, dark green leaves on a thick, hairy trunk that typically measures about 20 cm (7,9 in) in diameter, sometimes wider. The trunk is very low to underground in young plants, but elongates above the ground with age. In very old specimens it can measure about 6-7 m (more than 20 feet) in trunk height; However, the plant has very slow growth and requires around 50-100 years to reach this height. The trunks can branch several times, thus producing multiple heads of leaves.

The leaves are a deep satin green. They grow in a feather-like rosette 1 meter in diameter. The tight, rigid and narrow leaf stipules are 8-18 cm long and have strongly recurved or revolute edges.



Family: sapindaceae

Origin: Tropical, subtropical and temperate regions of Africa America, South Asia and Australasia.

Features: It's a bush, popularly called candela or jarilla, between 1 and 3 meters high, occasionally arborescent up to 10 meters, rapidly decreasing. Its leaves, 6 to 13 cm by 2 to 4 cm, are simple, lanceolate to linear, somewhat concave, with entire or somewhat wavy margins; They secrete a resinous substance, like the branches, which gives them a shiny appearance, with a leathery texture. Its inflorescence is terminal or axillary. The small flowers are grouped in dense panicles. They lack petals, they only have four greenish-yellow sepals. The fruit, which is a 2 cm wide capsule with 2 or 3 red wings when ripe, has 1 to 2 black, lenticular seeds in each chamber.



Family: verbenaceae

Origin: America, from southern Florida and Mexico to northern Argentina.

Features: Shrub and perennial plant with bluish flowers that may have thorns on the most vigorous branches. It has a very variable shape, 2 to 4 meters high, with an irregular and globose crown with sarmentous stems and quadrangular twigs. The leaves are evergreen, simple and ovate-elliptic, 2 to 6 cm long, more or less acuminate. All of them opposite, with entire or slightly serrated margins. Flowering occurs in clusters of very abundant terminal or axillary flowers that appear from May onwards until autumn. The flowers are purple and small in size that varies from 1 to 2 cm, they are bell-shaped and give off a very fragrant aroma. After flowering, the fruits appear in autumn and winter, they are small, globose, yellow-orange in color, the size of a chickpea



Family: myrtaceae

Origin: America, the Andes, Eastern Bolivia Department of Santa Cruz, the Caribbean, coastal forests of Brazil. They can also be found in New Caledonia and Madagascar.

Features: They are small to large shrubs or trees; young growth glabrous or more commonly thin to densely covered, simple or 2-brachial hairs. Leaves opposite, persistent, chartaceous to leathery, the glands conspicuous to inconspicuous on one or both surfaces. Axillary or cauliflorous inflorescences, sessile or racemose, or solitary flowers. Mere flowers; bracteoles persistent or deciduous at anthesis, separated or fused and forming an involucrum below the bud and flower; hypanthus not prolonged beyond upper tip of ovary; calyx 4-lobed, the lobes arranged in 2 opposite pairs equal to markedly unequal, frequently persistent in the fruit; petals 4, conspicuous; stamens numerous, anthers c. 0.5mm and ellipsoidal, or 1.5-3 mm and linear (in Mesoamerica, E. feijoi and E. magniflora); ovary 2-locular, ovules numerous, rarely 2. Fruits in berries; thin or fleshy pericarp; seeds 1, rarely 2 or 3, the seed coat membranous or leathery (in E. lithosperma, in Mesoamerica, bony, 1-2 mm thick), the eugenioid embryo, the cotyledons, radicle and plumule fused.



Family: Euphorbiaceae

Origin: Tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and America, although also in temperate zones. In general, succulent species are from Africa, America (very few) and Madagascar.

Features: Succulent plant with erect stems divided into segments of 15-25 cm separated by constrictions, variegated green in color (over time it acquires a bushy shape) between 4 to 6 cm in diameter, 3 or 4 sharp and pronounced ribs, with wavy and serrated edges. Spatulate and acuminate spines of 2 to 4 mm, reddish brown. Leaves 3 to 5 cm long, spatulate and ending in a very short mucron. They tend to remain on the plant for a long time if the temperature and watering are adequate.



Family: Anacardiaceae

Origin: Central Andes, subtropical and tropical areas of South America.

Features: It is a woody arborescent tree with evergreen leaves. They are small to medium in size, usually 6 to 8 meters tall, with records of individuals measuring 25 meters tall. The diameter of the trunk can reach up to 50 cm, hanging branches, brown or gray outer bark, very rough, exfoliating in long plates, erect or curved trichomes, up to 0.1 mm long, whitish; dioecious plants. The leaves are alternate, evergreen or deciduous. The fruit is globose, 5 to 7 mm in diameter, thin exocarp, deciduous, pink to pinkish-red when ripe, glabrous, fleshy and resinous mesocarp, bony endocarp; compressed seeds, flat cotyledons.


Family: Filicopsida, Pterophyta, Filicinae or Polypodiophyta

Origin: Ferns are a very ancient group of plants that appeared at the end of the Silurian and have survived for about 400 million years. They had their maximum development in the Carboniferous period, generating the majority of today's coal deposits.

Features: Ferns are seedless vascular plants (pteridophytes), whose most outstanding morphological characteristics are their large leaves ("megaphylls" or "fronds"), usually pinnate and with circinate prefoliation. They do not produce flowers or seeds and are mostly herbaceous, although there are a few arborescent species. The stems are known as rhizomes, as they grow horizontally above and below the surface of the soil, however, there are also erect and climbing ones; most are covered by scales but some are covered by hairs. The scales are generally lanceolate and sometimes orbicular. The leaves of ferns, known as fronds, are monomorphic in most species, however, they can be dimorphic in certain species.



Family: Anacardiaceae

Origin: Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Features: It is a dioecious shrub, independent male and female plants, evergreen, 1 to 5 meters high, with a strong resin smell. It resists strong frosts and grows on all types of soils, being able to grow well in limestone and even salty or saline areas, this makes it more abundant next to the sea. It lives in clear forests, pasture areas, canyons and rocky slopes throughout the Mediterranean area. It is a very rustic pioneer species dispersed by birds and abundant in dry Mediterranean environments. It grows in the shape of a bush and as it ages, it develops thick trunks and a large number of thick, long branches. The fruit is a drupe, first red and later black when ripe, about 4 mm in diameter, not edible for humans, but edible for birds.



Family: myrtaceae

Origin: Southeast Europe and North Africa.

Features:  Evergreen and aromatic shrub up to 5 meters long, with compact foliage. The leaves are opposite, leathery, short-petiolate, with an entire edge, oval or lanceolate, dark green on the upper side and lighter on the underside, with transparent oil glands on the leaf blade. The flowers are white, solitary on long axillary peduncles, with five petals and five sepals, very aromatic, 1 to 2 cm wide. The stamens are yellow. Blooms in spring. The fruit is a rounded edible berry 1 to 1,5 cm in diameter, dark blue pruino when ripe, accompanied by the calyx at the top. It has many seeds, which are dispersed by the birds that feed on it.



Family: arecaceae

Origin: Western and northern region of Madagascar, where it grows in open grasslands.

Features: Bismarckia is a monotypic genus with a single species: Bismarckianobilis, the Bismarck palm, or Madagascar blue palm, belonging to the palm family. It has gray chocha trunks with ringed grooves. The stipe is 30 to 45 cm in diameter, slightly domed at the base and leafless throughout the base. In their natural habitat they can measure more than 25 meters in height, but they usually do not exceed 12 meters in cultivation. The almost rounded leaves are enormous at maturity, more than 3 meters wide, and are divided at a third of their length into 20 or more rigid leaflets, in turn divided at the ends. The petioles are 2 to 3 meters long, slightly armed, and covered in a waxy white or tan color. The almost spherical leaves of the crown are 7,5 meters wide and 6 meters high.



Family: arecaceae

Origin: North of Africa.

Features: Palm tree about 20 meters high and up to 50 centimeters in diameter. Its leaves are pinnate and can reach 7 meters in length. It has inflorescences that grow between the base of the leaves, with cream-colored male flowers and yellow female flowers. It has an ovoid orange fruit up to 9 cm long. They are very resistant palm trees whenever they are found in soils with a lot of humidity and near the sea, and can reach 300 years.



Family: arecaceae.

Origin: Jungle mountains of India and Bhutan from 300 to 1200 meters.

Features: This palm tree generally grows on cliffs, hillsides and similar terrain. It is threatened by habitat loss in its native range. It is a palm tree that usually grows up to 8 meters in height, its trunk has an approximate diameter of 20 centimeters and is usually free of leaf remains, except at the base of the crown. The leaves measure between 2,5 and 3 meters in length, are pinnate, and have pseudopetioles of 50 to 60 centimeters armed with spines (although they are less numerous than in other species of the genus). The fruit is a yellow-orange drupe, date, 2 centimeters long that contains a single seed.



Family: arecaceae

Origin: Native to the tropics of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar and the Comoros Islands.

Features: Phoenix reclinata is a dioecious clumping palm, producing multiple stems 7,5 to 15 meters high and 30 cm wide. The leaves are pinnate and recurved, growing from 2.5 to 4.5 meters in length and 0,75 meters in width. The leaf color is bright to deep green with 30 cm petioles with long sharp spines at the base, with 20 to 40 leaves per crown. The plants are unisexual and the florets appear at the top of the stem. The male florets are dirty, pale yellow in color and fall off after flowering; The female ones are small, globose and yellow-green. This species has oblong edible fruits, orange (when ripe), 2,5 cm in diameter. The fruit is produced in large hanging clusters and contain one seed each. They generally tolerate salt spray, and moderate drought where the water table is permanently high. These plants are found from sea level to 3.000 meters, in humid forest clearings, monsoon forests and rocky mountain slopes.



Family: chamaerops

Origin: Southern Europe. It is distributed throughout northern Africa and southwestern Europe. It is the only species of palm tree native to the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands.

Features: Palm tree up to 4 meters high, although generally smaller; branched from the base. The leaves, about 50 to 80 cm in diameter, are palmate and divided into numerous grayish or bluish-green leaflets, hard and ending in forked apices. The petioles are covered along their entire length by straight spines about 2 or 3 cm long, yellow in color. It is a dioecious species (separate male and female specimens). The inflorescences, between 15 to 20 cm long, are born between the leaves. It flowers in spring and the fruits ripen throughout the fall. It produces small, fleshy, round, immature green fruits that turn reddish to blackish when ripe.



Family: Cyperaceae

Origin: West Africa, Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula, but it is widely distributed throughout the world.

Features:  It is a tussock perennial plant, between 50 and 150 cm high. It has a fairly short and horizontal rhizome. The stems, 4 to 7 mm in diameter, are triangular, smooth to finely scabrous. Each stem is crowned by an umbel of bracts in the form of oblong-lanceolate leaves with a leathery texture arranged in a radius, like the ribs of an open umbrella. The inflorescence is a spikelet composed of a central axis (rachilla) with closely imbricated spiral bracts (glumes). Each spikelet carries a small pale green flower. It is grown as an ornamental plant indoors, or outdoors in warm climates. Its high water needs make it suitable for use in ponds, along with water lilies.



Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Origin: New Zealand.

Features: The plant grows as a clump of long strip-shaped leaves, up to two meters long, from which a much taller floral shoot rises, with spectacular yellow or red flowers. The fiber has been widely used by the Maori of New Zealand, originally in traditional Maori textiles and also making rope and sails after the arrival of Europeans until at least World War II. It is an invasive species on some of the Pacific islands and in Australia. Phormium tenax is mainly found in swamps and low-lying areas, but can grow almost anywhere and is widespread in gardens as an evergreen decorative plant, both in New Zealand and around the world. It is a perennial herbaceous monocotyledon.



Family: Rosaceae.

Origin: Southern Europe to Western Asia.

Features: Perennial or semi-perennial shrub, resistant, 1.5 to 2 meters high, although it can exceed 3 meters. Grayish brown trunk, thorny, intricate branches. Its leaves are leathery, petiolate, toothed, lanceolate, alternate, shiny on the surface. Its flowers are very abundant, white to light yellow, small and in clusters, with five rounded petals. The fruits are small knobs that ripen from the end of summer to autumn, red, orange or yellow in color, and remain on the branches during the autumn and winter seasons. The fruits have astringent properties and are food for many birds.



Family: Rubiaceae.

Origin: South America.

Features: Cinchona officinalis is a species found in the rainforest of western Amazonia and the eastern Andes mountain range. Its bark, which is called cinchona or quinaquina, has extensive medicinal qualities, like other species of the genus. The cinchona tree has leaves that are generally sharper at the apex and have domatia predominantly in the basal (proximal) portion, the end of the calyx very deeply lobed, and its fruits with walls of quite thick texture.



Family: arecaceae

Origin: Madagascar

Features: It is a palm tree that reaches a size of up to 30 meters in height. With the stem cylindrical or slightly swollen towards the middle, 36 to 50 cm in diameter. It has internodes from 4 to 10 cm. With between 16 and 25 leaves, straight to hanging, slightly arched. The inflorescence erect, branched in 2 orders. The fruits are bright red, globose to slightly ellipsoidal.



Family: Fabaceae

Origin: Argentina and Bolivia.

Features: It is a fast growing, corpulent tree. Of average height, reaching 18 meters, with a cylindrical trunk with dark gray cracked bark, with a very parasolate and branched crown with branches that extend in broken rectilinear segments. The leaves are compound, 4 dm long, odd-pinnate, light green with 11 to 29 oblong leaflets. The flowers are yellowish, grouped in inflorescence. Its fruit is a winged legume (samara type), 4 to 7 cm long, indehiscent, with 1 single seed inside.



Family: Adoxaceae.

Origin: Temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, with a few species distributed in the tropical mountainous areas of South America and southeast Asia. In Africa, the genus is confined to the Atlas Mountains.

Features: It is a woody shrub of a forest nature. The leaves are opposite, simple and entire, toothed or lobed, in cold regions they are deciduous, while in temperate regions they are evergreen. The flowers are produced in corymbs 5-15 cm wide, with white, cream or pink flowers 3-5 mm in diameter with five petals. The fruit is a spherical red or purple drupe with a single seed that is fed to birds and other wild animals.