Martinique: Political System
Martinique is an overseas department and belongs to France and is therefore a
member of the European Union.
Region and département are responsible for the same territory, but have separate
institutions: the Conseil général des Departements with its 45 members. The
representative of the central government is the prefect. The country sends four
representatives to the French National Assembly and two to the Senate.
According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
Martinique department (France)
The national anthem of Martinique is that of France.
The national anthem of France comes from the time of the French Revolution. It
was written and set to music by the composer and poet Claude-Joseph Rouget de
Lisle (1760-1836) on the night of April 25th to 26th of the year 1792 during the
declaration of war on Austria. It initially had the title "Chant de guerre pour
l'armée du Rhin", in English translation "the war song of the Rhine Army".
This song was then sung on July 30, 1792 by the Republican soldiers on their
march from Marseille to Paris. Since then the anthem has been called the
On July 14, 1795, it was declared the French national anthem. During the
restoration around 1814, the hymn was even banned. It was not until the Third
Republic in 1879 that it finally became the national anthem again.
Incidentally, Stefan Zweig described the circumstances of the creation of the
Marseillaise in a very exciting way in his work "Great moments of mankind".
Allons enfants de la Patrie,
le jour de gloire est arrivé
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé,
L'étendard sanglant est levé!
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldiers!
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils et vos compagnes.
Aux armes citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons.
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons
Que veut cette horde d'esclaves
De traîtres, de rois conjurés?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés
Français, pour nous, Ah quel outrage
Quel transport il doit exciter!
C'est nous qu'on ose mediter
De rendre à l'antique esclavage
Quoi! Des cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
Quoi! Ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers.
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers.
Grand Dieu! Par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts, sous le joug, se ploieraient.
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées
Tremblez tyrans, et vous
perfides L'opprobe de tous les partis.
Tremblez, vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leur prix!
From enfin recevoir leur prix!
Tout est soldier pour vous combattre.
S'ils tombent nos jeunes héros,
La terre en produit de nouveaux
Contre vous, tous prêts à se battre
Français en guerriers magnanimes
Portez ou retenez vos coups.
Épargnez ces tristes victimes
A regrets s'armant contre nous!
A regrets s'armant contre nous!
Mais ce despote sanguinaire
Mais les complices de Bouillé
Tous les tigres qui sans pitié
Déchirent le sein de leur mère!
Amour Sacré de la Patrie
Conduis, soutiens nos braves vengeurs.
Liberté, Liberté chérie
Combats avec tes defenseurs
Combats avec tes defenseurs
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et nous, notre gloire
Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leur vertus!
Et la trace de leur vertus!
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil.
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre
And in the English translation
Auf, Kinder des Vaterland!
The day of fame is here.
We against tyranny,
The bloody banner raised.
The bloody banner raised.
Do you hear the
roar of the cruel warriors in the fields ?
They are pushing us to behead
your sons, your wives!
To arms, citizens!
Close the ranks,
forward, let's march! Let the
water our fields!
What does this horde of slaves, of
traitors, of conspiratorial kings want ?
For whom are these common fetters,
These irons long prepared?
These long-prepared irons?
French, for us, ah! what shame,
what anger this must arouse!
One dares to think of
bringing Us into old bondage!
what! Foreign rabble
would rule over our homes!
What! These mercenaries would bring down
Our proud warriors!
Slay our proud warriors!
Great god! With chains on
our hands, our heads would bow to the yoke.
Vile despots would
determine our fate!
Tremors, tyrants and you vile
disgrace of all parties,
Tremors! Your wicked plans
are finally getting paid back!
You will finally get paid back!
Everyone is a soldier to fight you,
when you fall, our young heroes,
the earth beget new ones who
are ready to fight against you.
French, you noble warriors,
deal your blows or hold them back!
Spare these sad victims
Who reluctantly arm themselves against us.
Who reluctantly arm themselves against us.
But these bloodthirsty despots,
But these accomplices of Bouillé,
All those tigers who ruthlessly
tear apart their mother's breast!
Holy love for the fatherland,
guide, support our avenging arms.
Freedom, beloved freedom,
fight with your defenders!
Fight with your defenders!
So that victory under our flags
rushes to the aid of the sounds of strong men,
So that your dying enemies
see your victory and our glory!
We will continue on the path of life
When the elders will no longer
be there, We will find their dust there
And their virtues trace.
And find a trace of their virtues.
Rather share their coffin
Than they want to survive,
We will with lofty pride
avenge them or follow them.
Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, the national flag of Martinique is that of France, i.e. the tricolor.
Politicians and rulers
Victor Schoelche, (born July 22, 1804 in Paris, died
December 25, 1893), politician
Victor Schoelcher is one of the most important historical figures in
Martinique. He actually came from an upper-class family; his father was a china
manufacturer. In 1830 he traveled to Mexico on business and visited Cuba, where
a slave revolt was taking place. Sensitized to the problems of slavery, he
returned to Paris and published various articles on the subject and called for
their abolition. In 1848 he became a member of the National Assembly and Senator
of Martinique and Guadeloupe and initiated the decree on the abolition of
slavery: "Le décret d'abolition de l'escalvage du 27 avril 1848". This decree
led to the abolition of slavery in the French colonies. In Martinique, a library
in Fort de France and a parish were named after him.
Marie Josephe Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie (born July 23,
1763 in Trois-Ilets, died May 29, 1814 in Rueil-Malmaison), French Empress
Joséphine (Napoleon's nickname for her) came up on a sugar cane plantation in
Martinique the world and spent her childhood there.
She attended the girls' boarding school in Fort de France and in 1779 married
the French army officer Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais, who was guillotined
in 1794 during the French Revolution. Alexandre was supposed to marry
Josésphine's sister, three years younger than him, but she died of
tuberculosis. After some hesitation, since Joséphine seemed too old at the age
of 15, Alexandre agreed. The couple had two children, Eugene and Hortense. The
marriage was never very happy, so the two separated amicably in 1785.
A wasteful life began for Joséphine in Parisian society. Despite high annual
royalties, it ended up being heavily indebted.
After the death of her former husband, she was arrested too and was supposed to
appear before the Revolutionary Tribunal. At the endeavor of the Thérésa
Cabarrus, known as Notre-Dame de Thermídor, she was freed by Jean-Lambert
Talliens and some of her confiscated property was returned.
Shortly afterwards she met General Napoléon Bonaparte, whom she married on March
9, 1796. However, this was not a love marriage on her part, she was aware that
it had passed its prime. Napoléon himself was passionately in love with his
wife, who was six years older than him, but this did not prevent Joséphine from
giving up her luxurious lifestyle and various lovers. It is thanks to their
connections that Napoléon became the commanding general of the Italian army.
Slavery had already been abolished in the French colonies in 1794, but Joséphine
convinced Napoleon to reintroduce it, since her parents' sugar cane plantation
could not be managed without slaves. Through her curriculum vitae and social
background, she was able to give her husband a social acceptance that Napoleon
could not achieve on his own due to his origins, so that he could benefit from
the status of his wife. In return, he paid off their large debts. Joséphine
herself was politically disinterested and did not actively influence her
husband's politics. In 1804, Joséphine was crowned Empress by Napoleon in the
Church of Notre-Dame in Paris, much to the displeasure of his family.
Up to now and in the following years no sons had emerged from the marriage,
which turned out to be increasingly problematic, since a male inheritance was
necessary for the hereditary empire. Joséphine was well aware of the seriousness
of the situation and tried to suggest to Napoleon that he was the reason for the
childlessness, as she already had two daughters from her first marriage. This in
turn meant that Napoleon acquired various mistresses in order to prove his
fertility. Eventually his Polish mistress Maria Walewsa and another mistress,
Eleonore Denuelle de la Plaigne, became pregnant in 1809. When it became clear
that Joséphine would not have any more children, she agreed to the divorce, to
enable Napoleon to remarry and still have the opportunity to become his
hoped-for heir and heir to the throne. The divorce was pronounced on January 10,
1810 and Joséphine retired with her court to her Malmaison castle with the title
of empress. She spent her last years there.
After the collapse of the empire and the abdication of Napoleon, she received
his opponent, the Russian Tsar Alexander I, without hesitation.
Joséphine de Beauharnais died on May 29, 1814 in Malmaison. The official cause
of death is hypothermia. Her remains are now kept in the church of Rueil near
The daughter of her son, Joséphine von Leuchtenberg, the wife of King Oskar I of
Sweden, makes her the ancestor of the ruling dynasties in Belgium, Greece,
Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Aimé Césaire (born June 26, 1913 in Basse-Pointe,
At the age of 18, Aimé Césaire was sent to the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris
because of his excellent academic achievements. As a black student of literary
studies, he is quickly sensitized to his special situation in a dominant white
culture. With the Senegalese Léopold Sédar, he founded the magazine “Etudiant
noir” (Black Student) in 1934, which makes the problems of black students a
topic. He is also considered the founder of the Négritude movement
In 1940 Césaire returned to Martinique, five years later he was elected mayor of
Fort de France and the following year he was elected to the French National
Assembly. It is thanks to his efforts that the French colonies achieve the
status of overseas departments in 1946. Césaire joined the Communist Party in
1946 and discovered surrealism as a liberating form of expression for his
artistic ambitions. It was during this time that some of his best poems were
written. He founded the magazine "Tropique" and published his prose there. In
1956 he founded the socialist party PPM, the top priority is to improve the
living conditions of the black population. In the years that followed, Césaire
worked as a politician and poet, resulting in highly acclaimed dramas such as
“La Tragédie du roi Christophe”,
Despite his view that colonization destroys the self-confidence of blacks,
Césaire uses the means of art to counter independence from the French mother
country. The Grande Nation, so his message, can bring about social progress in
For example, two of his works are: "Back to the Land of Birth" and "On
Writer and poet
Joseph Zobel (born April 26, 1915 in Riviere-Salée, died
June 18 in Alès/France, died June 18, 2006 in Alès)
In his works, the author takes a politically ambitious and successful position
on the social problems in his home country. His novel "La Rue Cases- Negres"
(The street of the negro huts), published in 1950, made him popular. It is about
a boy who is raised by his grandmother on a plantation in Martinique. The living
conditions in the thirties on his home island are described. In 1983 the book
was made into a film and was awarded the Silver Lion in Venice. Joseph Zobel
lived in Senegal for a while and spent his final years in the south of France.
Patrick Chamoiseau, (born March 12, 1953 in Fort-de-France)
The writer is considered one of the most innovative writers on the
French-speaking scene since Lois-Ferdinand Céline. His free form in dealing with
the French language, very complex with a constant mix of Creole, portrays the
people of Martinique and humanity in general in a biting and sensual way.
Chamoiseau is among others, alongside Jean Bernabé and Raphaël Confiant, the
author of the work “ Eloge de la créolité ”. His novella Texaco was awarded the
Prix Goncourt in 1992.
- Chronique des sept meiseres (1986)
• Solibo magnifique (1988)
• Antan d'enfance (1990) newly published as Une Enfance créole I, Antan
d'enfance avec une nouvelle préfance (1996)
• Texaco (1992)
• Chemin d ' ecole (1944), newly published as Une Enfance créole II, Chemin
• L'Escalve vieil homme et le molosse (1977)
• Biblique des derniers gestes (2002)
• A Bout d'enfance (2005)
• Manman Dlo contre la fée Carabosse (1982)
• Monsieur Coutcha, under the name «Abel» with Tony Delsham, this was one of the
first Caribbean cartoons, it was published in 1970
• Emerveilles (1998)
• Eloge de la créolité (with Jean Bernabé and Raphaël Confiant) (1989)
• Lettre créoles. Tracées antillaise et continentales de la litérature (with
Raphaël Confiant) (1991)
• Martinique (with V. Renaudeau) (1994)
• Ecrire en pays dominé (1997)
• Elmire des sept bonheurs: confidences d'un vieux travailleru de la distillerie
Saint - Etienne (1998)
Raphaël Confíant, (born January 25, 1951 in Lorrain)
Raphaël Confiant first studied English and political science at the University
of Provence. During the 1970s, Confíant became a militant advocate of the Creole
language. He later worked with Jean Bernabé and Patrick Chamoiseau and developed
the Creole Movement. The three authors wrote the work Eloge de la créolité with
addition to other theoretical texts.
The Creole Movement is often seen as a reaction to the Négritude, which
emphasizes the African origins of the residents of the Antilles, on the other
hand also the differences of the Antillean ancestors and cultural heirs, which
also includes Chinese, Europeans and Indians. The movement tries to understand
the different identities and languages and shuns the general in favor of the
different languages and identities.
Confíant is a well-known author in Creole and French and currently works as a
professor at the University of the Antilles and Guiana (UAG). His first novels
in Creole sold very poorly, so that Confíant tried his first novella in French
in 1988, Le Negre et l'Amiral, which is set in Martinique during World War
II. For this he was awarded the Antigone Prize.
He then wrote his other works exclusively in French. The themes of his final
pieces relate to the anniversary of the discovery of the French West Indies and
also to events in the island's history, such as the volcanic eruption in St.
Pierre in 1902 and the arrival of the East Indian contract workers in 1854.
In Creole language
- Le Negre et l'Amrial, 1988
• Eloge de la créole, 1989 (with Jean Bernabé and Patrick Chamoiseau)
• Lettres créoles: tracées antillaiesses et continentales de la litérature
• Eau de Café, 1991, Prix Novembre
• Ravines du devant-jour, 1993, Prix de las Americas
• Commandeur du sucre, 1993
• Aimé Césaire, une traversée paradoxale du siecle, 1993
• L'Allée des Soupirs, 1994, Prix Carbet
• Bassin des ouragans, 1994
• Les maitres de la parole créole, 1995
• Contes créoles, 1995
• Le Gouverneur des dés, 1995
• Mamzelle Lebellule, 1995
• La Savane des pétrifacations, 1995
• La Vierge du Gran Retour, 1996
• Le Meurtre de Samedi- Gloria, 1997, Prix RFO
• L'archet du colonel, 1998
• Régisseur du rhum, 1999
• Le Cahier de Romance, 2000
• Brin d'amour, 2001
• Nuée ardente, 2002
Xavier Orville, (born January 3, 1932 in Case-Pilote; died
August 19, 2001)
Professor of Spanish, poet. Xavier Orville is known for his quirky fantasies,
symbols and parables that he uses to describe the search for Caribbean identity
and the colonized people. Typical of his surrelastic narratives are the works
L'Homme aux sept noms et des poussières from 1981 and Laissez brûler Laventurcia
from 1989. In addition, Leopold Sedar Senghor was cultural attaché to Senegalese
President from 1979 to 1982.
- Délice et le Fromager, 1977, Prix des Caraïbes
• la Tapisserie du temps présent, 1977
• L'Homme aux sept noms et des poussières, 1981
• Le Marchand de larmes, 1985
• Aissez brûler Laventurcia, 1989
• Cœur à vie, 1993, Prix Frantz-Fanon
• La Voie des cerfs -volants, 1994
• Moi, Trésilien Théodore Augustin, 1996
Jean Bernabé (born in Martinique in 1942), writer and
Jean Bernabé is professor of grammar and language. He is currently working at
the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane as a professor of languages and
The writer is important in the Creole movement. He is co-author of the work
Eloge de la créolité (with Patrick Chamoiseau and Raphael Confíant).
He is also the founder of GEREC-F (French and Creole language research groups,
author of important works on the syntax of the Creole language, especially
Fondal-Natal (1976) and Fondas-Kréyol; and other sociolinguistic articles.
Bernabé is considered to be one of the most important researchers for the
implementation of the CAPES Creoleen. Paradoxically, all of the author's works
are exclusively in French.
- Fondas- Kréyol, 1982
• Eloge de la créolité (with Patrick Chamoiseau and Raphaël Confiant), 1989
• Le bailleur d'étincelle, 2002
• Le partage des ancetres, 2004
Aimée du Buc de Rivéry (born December 19, 1776 in
Martinique, died August 28, 1817 in Istanbul)
The cousin of the famous Empress Joséphine (1763-1814), the wife of Napoléon
Bonaparte, was sent to a convent school in France, with her Returning in 1788,
her ship was hijacked and she was probably taken to Istanbul as a gift for the
Sultan Ottoman, Sultan of the Bay of Algiers. There she first made a career as a
haremaker, later she rose to become the Turkish ruler. She was the mother of
Sultan Mahmed II.
Most noticeable are the wild dogs, which can be found wherever people and
their waste occur. The dogs are little loved by the locals and are usually
chased away with stones or other things that are on hand.
Another mammal is a nocturnal species of opossum that is immune to the bites of
the island's only venomous snake.
The idol snake (Boa constrictor) reaches sizes between 3 and 4 m and feeds on
smaller and larger mammals as well as on birds and reptiles.
The prey is embraced and strangled by contracting the muscles.
You can find the snake in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, El
Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia (Valle del Cauca).
Also in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.
The snake is also at home in Peru (Pasco), Suriname and Venezuela as well as in
Florida/USA - where it was released.
They can also be found in Trinidad, Tobago, Martinique, Aruba and Antigua.
There are six subspecies of the snake
A detailed description of the snake can be found at Goruma here >>>
Almost everywhere you can meet members of the anole family, the most
species-rich group of iguanas. The very slender and often bright green lizards
with a noticeably long tail have particularly intense colors that they can
change depending on the situation. Because they are excellent climbers, they can
mainly be seen on trees and bushes.
Two-lined slender blind
snake Martinique is home to one of the smallest snakes in the world, the approx.
18-33 cm tall two-lined slim blind snake (Leptotyphlops bilineatus). Outwardly,
however, it is more reminiscent of an earthworm than a snake.
Martinique Lance Viper
There is a poisonous snake on the island, it is the Martinique Lance Viper
(Bothrops lanceolatus). A bite from this snake, which only occurs in Martinique,
is always to be regarded as life-threatening and requires medical help as soon
There are 20 to 30 bite accidents from this snake every year. Since a monovalent
(especially effective against the venom of this snake) is available, there is
rarely a fatal outcome.
The antiserum must be administered within 6 hours after a bite, otherwise
serious consequences including death can be expected. But despite the
administration of the antiserum, thromboses, strokes, heart attacks or pulmonary
embolisms occur here and there due to the blood-damaging effect of the poison.
More poisonous animals
The tarantula native to this area, known as the "false land crab", is
nocturnal and very shy, so that it only poses a limited threat to humans.
Many bird species can be admired in Martinique, including four different
species of the greenish shimmering hummingbird, whereby the characteristic
feature of all four species is the wearing of a hood. Hummingbirds are some of
the smallest warm-blooded animals, and in addition to being able to stand in
mid-air, they are the only birds that can fly backwards. Their low weight and
the very fast flapping of the wings (approx. 80 beats/sec.) Contribute to
these flying skills. Hummingbirds mainly feed on nectar to provide the energy
they need for strenuous flying. Their very long beak is striking, which is a
perfect adaptation to their diet, as the nectar required is usually deep in the
calyx of the flower.
Also noteworthy are frigate birds with a wingspan of 2 m, as well as bearded
finches. One of the endemic species is the l'Hylode de la Martinique
(Eleutherodactylus martinicensis), which has no German name.
Other birds that are native here are cave terns, paw thrushes with a
characteristic yellow ring around the eyes and the olive-green pine warbler,
which have their winter quarters on the island.
There is an unmanageably large selection of insects, but most often you will
come across an approximately 30 cm long and twig-like insect, which is known as
a devil's horse, provided you recognize it at all.
It has appropriated the appearance of a branch so precisely that you can only
see it when it is moving.
You won't get past the cockroaches, which are often 4-5 cm in size, but this
has little to do with the hygienic conditions on the island, but rather has to
do with the temperatures and humidity there.
Butterflies, bumblebees, wasps and bees and especially mosquitoes are also very
Noteworthy is the Hercules beetle from the scarab beetle family, which is not
only the largest beetle, but also one of the largest insects in the world. The
male has two large, pincer-like horns at the front end of the body, with which
he reaches a total size of 17.5 cm. Thus, it is slightly larger than the female
that lacks such horns. The shorter horn is an extension of the head, while the
longer one is an extension of the pronotum. In this way, the two horns form a
functional pair of pliers.
Another ability of the males is the color change of their wing covers from an
olive green to a black color, which takes place before rival fights. Hercules
beetles are nocturnal and hide during the day in dark hiding places such as
between roots or in tree hollows. Their lifespan is 2 years, of which they spend
15 months as a larva. They are residents of humid, tropical rainforests and
are particularly widespread in South America.
Martinique's spiders include a tarantula with the zoological name Avicularia
versicolor, which is known as the "false land crab". Characteristic is the
metallic blue sheen that the spider has as a young animal, and the darker color
with red hair in the adult (adult) stage. The tree-dwelling spider is nocturnal
and also very shy, so that it is rarely seen.
Crabs are very common, there are both sea and land crabs, the latter being
The world is richest in coral reefs. Puffer fish and trumpet fish, among
others, live here and are particularly common on the east coast.
As with all other nearby islands such as Guadeloupe and Dominica, the waters
around the island invite you to dive, because there is a lot to see of the
underwater world. With parrot fish, officer fish and coral fish, only a few of
the tropical specialties are mentioned here. You can also find baracudas, moray
eels and rare species of jellyfish here. You can also find schools of tuna,
sailfish and dolphins here. But also numerous species of sharks and even the
peaceful whale shark can be found here.
In the north of the island, mahogany and rubber trees form large tropical
forests, while palm trees can be found all over the island. The sweet chestnut
is also part of the forests, where the large buttress roots are most
noticeable. The tree of travelers from the Strelizia family is a very special
plant. Its approximately 3 m long leaves grow in a fan shape exclusively in an
east-west direction. The palm-like trunk of the tree does not lignify, and yet
it can reach a height of 10 to 15 m.
Most of the approximately 350 km long coastline is covered by black and red
mangroves, which form the impenetrable mangrove forest. A mangrove forest is a
very special biotope for both flora and fauna, to which most species are
The most important crops include sugar cane, which is also used to produce
rum, as well as bananas, pineapples and palm trees, the fruits and fronds of
which are of great economic importance. The coconut tree is used completely in
its individual parts: the trunk is used as construction timber, the nut fibers
are woven into mats and the fronds are processed into hats and roof
coverings. The nut itself serves as a supplier of milk, fat and coconut flakes
and the shell is often used as an ashtray.
The main sources of income remain the pineapple plantations as well as cocoa
and vegetable cultivation.
The flamingo flowers from the arum family contain calcium oxalates in their
leaves, which lead to inflammation of the affected areas when touched. When
consumed, the consequences are more serious, the tongue and the oral mucous
membranes swell and burn, swallowing difficulties and speech disorders are
further symptoms of poisoning, as are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and
general gastrointestinal complaints. Just as it is for humans, the plant with
its striking, beautiful and large flowers is also poisonous for animals.
Martinique is often referred to as the island of flowers, and there is a good
reason for that. Here you can admire heliconias, alpines, bougainvilleae, the
flower tube and also flowers with unusual names such as flamingo flower
(anthurium), parrot beak or torch ginger. The parrot's beak is particularly
noticeable for its large, red and parrot-beak-like flowers.
The wild pineapple grows in the rainforest, although it sticks to the host
tree, it is not a parasite because it does not remove any nutrients from the
tree. During the severe drought in the summer months, when trees and bushes lose
their leaves to protect themselves from excessive water loss, one of the candle
cactus is particularly eye-catching.
As on most of the other Caribbean islands, most of the plants native to the
area today were brought from various countries. The guava tree comes from South
America and the cocoa tree from Central America. Both plants have adapted
particularly well to the typical island conditions and are very widespread. The
traveler tree is actually endemic to Madagascar, but is quite common as an
ornamental plant in the tropics.