Madagascar Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Madagascar: Political System

According to CANCERMATTERS.NET, Madagascar is a republic. At the head of the state is a president who is directly elected by the people every 5 years. The parliament is a bicameral system. It consists of the National Assembly and the Senate. The 150 members of the National Assembly are elected for four years. Two thirds of the senators are elected for a term of four years, one third is appointed by the head of state. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Madagascar politics, and acronyms as well. The official name of the country is:


  • Repoblikan’i Madagasikara
  • République de Madagascar
  • Republic of Madagascar

National anthem

The national anthem of Madagascar was written by the priest Pasteur Rahajason (1897-1971) and set to music by the pianist and professor Norbert Raharisoa (1914-1963). It became the country’s official anthem in 1958.

In Malagasy language In the English translation
Ry Tanindraza nay malala ôRy Madagasikara soa.

Ny fitiavanay anaotsy miala,

Fa ho anao ho anao doria tokoa.REFRAINTahionao ry Zanahary

‘Ty No sindrazanay ity

Hiadana sy ho finaritra

He sambatra tokoa izahay.Ry Tanindrazanay malala ô

Irinay mba hanompoan’anao

Ny tena sy fo fanahy anananay ‘zay sarobidy

Sy mendrika tokoa.REFRAIN

Ry Tanindrazanay malala ô

Irinay mba hitahian ‘anao,

Ka Ilay Nahary’ zao ton tolo izao no

Fotogra ijoroan, ny satanao.


Oh you beloved land of our ancestorsOh you beautiful Madagascar

Our love for you will not wane

but will always exist for you.REFRAINYou Creator God, bless

this island of our ancestors.

She will know peace and joy

so that we may live in perfect happiness.O beloved land of our ancestors,

we want to put ourselves in your service.

Our love, hearts and souls,

what we have precious and worthy.REFRAIN

O beloved land of our ancestors,

blessed are you,

That the creator of the world may be

the basis of your conduct


National flag

The national flag (country flag) of Madagascar was officially introduced on October 21, 1958. Based on flag descriptions by, it is based on the white and red colors of the Hova realm. The white of today’s flag symbolizes purity, red the sovereignty of the country and green stands for hope.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Madagascar.

Madagascar: Known People

Andrianampoinimerina (around 1745-1810)

This king of Madagascar was also the founder of the kingdom. By expanding his power over the entire island, he founded the Merina Kingdom of Madagascar. Because of his clever political and social measures, he is still considered one of the country’s most important rulers.

Andrianjaka (d. 1630)

The son of Ralambo ruled the so-called Imerina in Madagascar from 1610 to 1630. But he is better known as the founder of today’s Malagasy capital, Antananarivo. Andrianjaka built his royal seat on the Analamanga hill. This was the first palace on the site of today’s Rova. According to Andrianjaka’s pious wish, his city should live to be a thousand years old, which explains the city’s name because it is derived from ho arivo an-tanana, where arivo means thousand.

D’Gary (born 1961)

The Malagasy guitarist, born as Ernest Randrianasolo in Antananarivo, has also achieved international fame. He is currently playing with the Indian tabla player Nantha Kumar.

Ida Pfeiffer (1797-1858)

Die 1797 as Ida Reyer in Viennaborn writer also made a name for herself as a world traveler. In total, she covered about 240,000 kilometers by sea and 32,000 kilometers on land on four continents. She visited Madagascar in 1857 when Ranavalona II ruled the island. Ida Pfeiffer was allowed to visit the Queen, but was unfortunately embroiled in a plot by Ranavalona’s son against his mother and had to leave Madagascar immediately. These experiences were written down in Ida Pfeiffer’s book Conspiracy in the Rainforest. With this travelogue she has created one of the few authentic documents that tell about the Malagasy history from this dark period. Because at that time the island kingdom had sealed itself off from all foreign influences.

Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo (1901-1937)

The important Malagasy writer found more and more African and Malagasy means of expression in the 1930s with which he wrote his poems. His most famous books are “La Coupe de Cendre” from 1924, “Sylves” from 1927 and “Vielles Chansons de Pays d’Imerina” from 1939.

Charles Rabemananjara (born 1947)

The politician, born in Ampatsakana-Antananarivo in 1947, was Prime Minister of Madagascar and held office from 2007. At the same time he was army general.

Radama I. (1783-1828)

The son of Andrianampoinimerina became ruler of the Kingdom of Madagascar in 1810. As his father had suggested, Radama I. subjugated the entire island by 1824. He established a cabinet based on the English model, de facto abolished slavery and opened Madagascar to missionaries.

Radama II. (1829-1863)

Radama II ruled as King of Madagascar from 1861 to 1863. The son of Ranavalona I pursued a moderate policy, with which he came back to foreign countries. With his special rights to the French (Charte Lambert), he also laid the foundation for the later colonization by the French. He was murdered in 1863 for his liberal policies.

Rainilaiarivony (1828-1896)

The Prime Minister of Madagascar, who was in office from 1864 to 1895, concluded important treaties with some western states, finally abolished polygamy and slavery and was very tolerant of local traditions. Furthermore, he operated a massive upgrade of the school system, the army, the legal system as well as the social, health and police systems.

Andry Nirina Rajoelina (born 1974)

The politician, who has been the self-proclaimed president of Madagascar since 2009, previously worked as a professional DJ and was the mayor of Antananarivo for two years.

Gabriel Ramanantsoa (1906-1979)

The politician who was President of Madagascar from 1972 and 1975 was also Prime Minister of his country at the same time.

Ranavalona I. (around 1782-1861)

The ruler of Madagascar, blessed with the short name Rabodoandrianampoinimerina when she was born, ruled the country in a harsh and cruel manner after the death of her husband, Radama I. Not only did she indiscriminately torture and execute her, it also forbade the practice of the Christian faith.

Ranavalona II. (1829-1883)

The widow of Radama II, who ruled Madagascar as queen from 1868 to 1883, made Protestantism the state religion and carried out a massive westernization of the island. It ensured remarkable economic growth, had schools built and the law was codified for the first time. At the same time, there were increased conflicts with France.

Ranavalona III. (1861-1917)

The last Queen of Madagascar ruled from 1883 to 1897 and had to sit out the first war with France, after which her position was considerably weakened. After another French attack in 1896, Madagascar was declared a French protectorate. The queen was deposed in 1897 and died in exile in Algeria in 1917.

Raymond Ranjeva (born 1942)

The Malagasy lawyer and former Vice President of the International Court of Justice received a professorship at the University of Madagascar in 1981 and soon afterwards became dean of the law faculty there. After he was even appointed rector of the University of Madagascar in 1988, he was elected as a judge to the International Court of Justice in 1991. From 2003 to 2006 he served as the Vice President of this court.

Rasoherina (1814-1868)

As the successor to her cousin Radama II, Rasoherina came to the Malagasy throne in 1863 (until 1868). Under her, constitutionally extended rights for foreigners and local Christians were permitted and the participation of nobles and chiefs was promoted.

Didier Ratsiraka (born 1936)

Ratsiraka served as President of Madagascar from 1975 to 1993 and from 1997 to 2002. After he had established a socialist government during his first term in office and lost to Albert Zafy in the 1993 elections, he was able to reign as president from 1997 to 2002.

Marc Ravalomanana (born 1949)

From 2002 to 2009, Ravalomanana was President of Madagascar. Despite the improving economic and infrastructural situation in the country, the people in the country had to carry a high economic burden. There were also corruption problems. Ravalomanana achieved the greatest recognition with its development plan for Madagascar, the Madagascar Action Plan published in 2006. In 2009, however, there were demonstrations against Ravalomanana’s administration. He was accused of enrichment and corruption. After the situation escalated several times, Ravalomanana resigned as president in 2009.

Madagascar: animals

About 95% of the animals living in Madagascar are endemic, the mammals even almost 100%. Endemic means that they are only found in Madagascar. However, birds are an exception, only half of them are endemic.

There are around 110 species of mammals here – including over 70 species of lemurs. Furthermore, around 260 bird species, 205 amphibian species, 300 frog and 400 reptile species have been observed so far.

The whole is complemented by around 100,000 species of insects and 300 species of butterfly species discovered to date. Amazingly, many of the local animal species were only discovered after 1990.

It should be mentioned that there are no predators or highly poisonous snakes here, with the exception of crocodiles and the sneak cat.

The ancestors of most animals came to the island from Africa 60 to 70 million years ago via what was then still a very narrow waterway – although Madakascar had already separated from the mainland around 90 million years ago. Because of the increasing isolation from the mainland, the animals had developed into those of today.


The most famous and popular animals of the island continent of Madagascar are the lemurs, of which there are around 70 different species. They only occur in Madagascar.

The lemurs belong to the order of the primates (primates) and to the subordination of the wet-nosed monkeys (Strepsirrhini), whereby the designation half-monkeys has been considered obsolete for some time.

The weight, and thus its size, ranges from 30 grams of the Berthe mouse lemur to the approx. 10 kg heavy Indri.

Depending on the species and region, their fur ranges in color from white, gray-brown to black. Most of them are not colored in the same color, but are sometimes white and black.

They have a very long and furry tail. The large eyes are particularly noticeable on their often hairless face.

The animals live in trees and feed on leaves, fruits, plant debris and nectar, but some species are omnivores and also eat insects, spiders, millipedes or small mammals and bird eggs. Their young initially live in leaf nests, only to be carried around later under the mother’s stomach and then on their back.

Madagascar has an area of 587,041 km² and is therefore a lot larger than Germany (357,050 km²). It is therefore not surprising that the animals – even within a species – can clearly differ in their appearance, behavior and eating habits depending on the region.

With the exception of the central highlands of the island, where they are rather sporadic, they can be found all over the island.

Fruit bats

The fruit bats belong to the class of mammals (Mammalia), to the order of the bats (Chiroptera) and to the suborder “Megachiroptera”. The family of the fruit bats (Pteropodidae) comprises around 40 genera with around 200 species and a number of subspecies.

They are relatives of the bats.

In addition to Madagascar, the animals are also found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa as well as in the Seychelles, southern Asia, Australia and western Oceania.

In Europe , the animals do not occur – with the exception of the Egyptian bat in Cyprus.

Flying foxes can reach a wingspan of up to 170 cm and some have a length of up to 40 cm (head-trunk). Flying foxes are usually crepuscular or nocturnal, while during the day they often hang upside down on trees in large colonies. In contrast to the bats, they do not orientate themselves with the help of ultrasound – with the exception of the rosette bats. Rather, they have well-developed eyes and an excellent sense of smell. Due to the warm climate in their habitats, the animals do not hibernate or hibernate.

The animals are vegetarians and feed mainly on nectar, pollen, fruits and flowers.


There are around 60 endemic species of chameleons in Madagascar. A total of over 170 species live here.

Taxometrically the family of chameleons is divided into the sub-cases “real chameleons” (Chamaeleoninae) and “stump tail chameleons” (Brookesiinae).

– In contrast to the “real chameleons, the stump-tailed chameleons are characterized by a rather inconspicuous coloration – mostly brown and green. In addition, they only have one type of tail, which is usually only a few millimeters long.

– The subfamily of the” Real chameleons are divided into the following genera:

dwarf chameleons (Bradypodion) with 14 species, Calumma with 32 species, Chamaeleo with 2 subgenera and a total of 52 species, Furcifer with 21 species and the genera Kinyongia with 10 species and Nadzikambia with only 1 species.

The subfamily of the “stump tail chameleons” is divided into the following genera:

Brookesia with 26 species, Rhampholeon with three sub-genera and a total of 14 species, and the genus Rieppeleon with 3 species.

The following is a selection of some of the species:

– Amber Mountain Chameleon (Calumma ambrensis

– Antimena Chameleon (Furcifer antimena)

– Bibron Chameleon (Calumma nasutum)

– Campan Chameleon (Furcifer campani)

– Canopy Chameleon (Furcifer wilsii)

– Small chameleon (Furcifer minor)

– Shorthorn chameleon (Calumma brevicornis)

– Labord’s chameleon (Furcifer labordii)

– Madagascar giant chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti), with a total length of 70 cm, it is the largest chameleon world

– Nashornchameleon (Furcifer rhinoceratus)

– Parson’s chameleon (Calumma parsonii)

– Perinet -Chameleon (Calumma gastrotaenia)

– Carpet chameleon (Furcifer lateralis)

– Warty chameleon (Furcifer verrocusus)

– dwarf chameleon (Brookesia micra), with a size of about 3 cm it is the smallest chameleon in the world

Chameleons are characterized by a high degree of visual acuity due to their special cornea. In this way, the animal can recognize potential enemies early and take shelter in the leafy trees. In addition, both eyes protruding from the head can be moved independently of each other.

With the help of its sling tongue – comparable to a rubber band – which pops out of its mouth in fractions of a second, prey animals have no chance of fleeing.

The well-known possibility that the animals can change their color is used for camouflage but also for communication between the animals.

The Parsons chameleon (Calumma parsonii) – from the subfamily of the real chameleons – can be up to 70 cm long and is one of the largest representatives of the chameleons in Madagascar. The animal is found only in the north and east of Madagascar – especially on the island of Sainte Marie. The smallest representative of the local chameleons is dwarf chameleon (Brookesia micra) with a size of only 3 cm.


The genera Oplurus and Chalarodon belong to the Iguanidae family. With the exception of one species, which is also native to the Comoros, all animals of the genus Oplurus are endemic to Madagascar. That is why they are called Malagasy iguanas. The Ankarafantsika National Park is home to two species of this genus:

– Madagascar iguana (Oplurus cuveiri)

– Madagascar spiny iguana (Oplurus cyclurus).

On the rocks in Anja Park in Ambalavao you can watch the species Grandidier’s Madagascar iguana (Oplurus grandidieri) sunbathe.


The Malagasy crocodiles belong to the genus of crocodiles (Crocodylus) and the species Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and used to be native to many of the island’s lakes and rivers. Nowadays the Nile crocodile is rarely found in the wild. It should be noted that they are considered sacred by some of the island’s population groups. The crocodiles are now bred on farms and their meat is processed into pies and steaks and their skin into crocodile leather goods. A detailed description of the Nile crocodile occurring here can be found at Goruma here >>>



snakes There are no poisonous snakes dangerous to humans in Madagascar, but there are numerous non-poisonous snakes. A total of around 62 different species of snakes from three families live here.

The strangler snakes living here can be up to 3 m long, which from a length of around 2 m can also be dangerous for a healthy adult.

The Boaschnangen (Real Boas or Boas) belong to the family Boinae and the subfamily Boidae. They occur in Central and South America to the Pacific region with American Samoa.

In Madagascar, the two genera “Acrantophis” and “Sanzinia” occur with their two species that have no subspecies. They are:

– Acrantophis dumerili (Dumerils Madagascarboa)

– Acrantophis madagascariensis (northern Madagascarboa)

The genus Sanzina has only one species, it is the “Madagascar dog-headed boa” (Sanzinia madagascariensis) with the two subspecies:

– Sanzinia madagascariensis madagascariensis

– Sanzinia madagascariensis volontany

The Madagascar dog-headed boa is the most famous snake species in Madagascar.

Platelet sea snake

The very poisonous platelet sea snake (Pelamis platura) can also be found in the waters around Madagascar. A detailed description of the snake can be found at Goruma under: Plate sea snake


As already mentioned at the beginning, of the around 260 bird species living here, a little less than 50% are endemic, i.e. birds that only occur here


The glutton with the Latin name “Mycteria ibis” belongs to the stork family (Ciconiidae).

These birds are found south of the Sahara as well as in Madagascar. Its beak is yellow and stands out from its red face. The plumage of the animal is white – except for black edges on the wings. The legs typical of storks are red-orange. The animals grow to an average height of 1 m. Their diet consists mainly of fish or frogs, they nest in larger colonies on trees – often in the vicinity of human settlements.

Birds of prey, Madagascar sea eagles

There are 16 species of birds of prey in Madagascar, such as pilgrim falcons, owls and eagles. Particularly noteworthy is the Madagascar sea eagle, the heraldic animal of Madagascar

Songbirds, parrots

Madagascar has around 65 species of songbirds and three species of gray and black parrots


Flamingos are mainly found at a salt lake in the south of the island. They have flown many 100 km from Africa to breed here. They are one of the few vertebrates that can drink the salty water and survive here well under quite extreme conditions.

Madagascar weaver (Fody)

The Fody is a species of sparrow with a brown-gray color that can be found all over the island. During the mating season between November and April, however, the bird is wonderful to look at, as the back and chest of the males turn bright red during this time.


The malachite kingfisher is a very colorful bird, which is also found in Germany


bog duck The Madagascar bog duck from the genus “Aythya” is one of the rarest ducks in the world – there are said to be only around 19 specimens of this diving duck.

Other birds

We have put the Latin names in brackets for the following birds that occur in Madagascar – especially for bird lovers:

  • Blue Vanga (Leptopterus madagascariensis)
  • Madagascar Heron (Ninox superciliaris)
  • Black fork drongo (dicrurus forficatus), a species of raven with a striking tuft of feathers on its head
  • Crested silk duckuck (Coua cristata)
  • Helm-Vanga in the Marojejy area with a strikingly large blue beak
  • Holy ibis (Threskiornis bernieri), it occurs in the west in the delta of the Mahavavy
  • Little ratite (Atelornis pittoides)
  • Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis ibis)
  • Kurol (Leptosomus discolor), the bird is related to the cuckoo;
  • Madagascar teal (Anas bernieri), its distribution area lies in the west in the Mahavavy Delta;
  • Madagascar plover (Charadrius thoracicus), its range is in the west in the delta of the Mahavavy River
  • Madagascar Falcon (Falco newtoni newtoni)
  • Madagascar eared owl (Asio madagascariensis)
  • Madagascar heron (Malagasy: Vorompasika) Its distribution area is in the west in the delta of the Mahavavy
  • Madagascar robin (Copsychus albospecularis)
  • Madagascar short-toed eagle (Eutriorchis astur)
  • Malagasy cuckoo bird (Centrophus toulou)
  • Mane ibis (Lophotibis cristata)
  • Plilger falcon: (Falco peregrinus radama), it is the heraldic animal of the Rova Palace and the Malagasy royal family
  • Giant kua (Coua gigas)
  • Barn Owl (Tyto alba affinis)
  • Sickle vanga (Falculea palliata)

Beetles, butterflies and other insects

There are probably well over 100,000 species of insects in Madagascar. Many are still not cataloged or researched. Some bugs, butterflies and other insects in alphabetical order:


In the forests of Madagascar one can find small leeches that can attach themselves to the skin and even to the eyelids.

Flies and mosquitoes

Unfortunately there are many flies and mosquitoes on the island – especially outside the cities. The sand fleas that live in the sand on the beaches cause extremely itchy and long-lasting stings. Since the female of the “Anopheles mosquito” can transmit malaria, appropriate prophylaxis must be taken. It occurs particularly in the warm and humid climate of the east coast.


There are around 20,000 known beetles on the island, some of which are several centimeters long. Particularly noticeable is the male giraffe beetle with its bright red body, which merges into a long and bent neck.

Butterflies Butterfly

lovers get their money’s worth here. There are 3,000 species on the island, of which the “Charaxes andara” is strikingly beautiful. It should be mentioned that there are butterflies with a length of approx. 50 cm

Spiders, Scorpions

There are 12 species of scorpion and over 400 species of spiders in Madagascar, including the “Nephila komaci”, the females of which reach a body length of 3 cm and a leg length of 12 cm. This makes it the largest species of spider in the world,

Millipedes, giant spherical millipedes

The giant millipedes have a strikingly colorful body and an astonishing size. Curled up giant spherical millipedes (Sphaerotheriida) can grow as big as an orange. They take on their spherical shape in case of danger. Their diet consists of old leaves and rotten wood.

Wasps, bees

Wasps and bees hardly differ in their behavior and way of life from animals in Europe.


The chirping concert of the cicadas is known to most from the Mediterranean area – some love their song and others find it extremely annoying.

Humpback whales

The humpback whales (megaptera novaeangliae) are native to the Indian Ocean. These whales can be over 15m long – with a weight between 30 and 40 tons (1 ton = 1,000 kg).

During their mating season and the birth of the young (mid-August to September), the animals come to the coasts of Madagascar. In the east of the island in the Bay of Antongil and around the island of Ste. Marie can be seen during this time. There are trips to whale watching.

Fish and other marine animals

Numerous species of fish and other marine animals live off the coast of Madagascar.

These include

barracudas, captains, rays or swordfish as well as octopuses, lobsters, crabs, oysters and sea urchins. But there are also sharks here. Therefore you should be careful when bathing.

The large coral reefs in front of “Toliara” and around “Nosy Be” are a true underwater paradise for divers and snorkelers.

More animals in Madagascar

Below is a brief and alphabetical description of some of the other interesting animals found on Madakar:


or river pig This hoofed animal native to the island is a subspecies of the African bush or river pig – unfortunately the animal has become quite rare in Madagascar.


In addition to the flying foxes, there are three species of bats on the island, of which the “pteopus” is on the list of specially protected species.

F crispness (Mantellidae)

It is estimated that there are in Madagascar more than 400 different species of frogs and many are still not known and cataloged nichr. The orange-red golden frog (Mantella Aurantiaca), which can only grow up to approx. 24 mm, is wonderful to look at. It belongs to the family of Madagascar

frogs (Mantellidae) and the subfamily Mantellinae. Also worth mentioning is the tomato frog (Dyscophus antongili), up to almost 11 cm in size, which belongs to the animal family close-mouth frogs (Microhylidae) and the

Belongs to subfamily deaf frogs (Dyscophinae). It gets its name from its red to reddish brown color.

Ge ckos There

are 70 species of geckos in Madagascar. Worth mentioning is the strikingly green, green Madagascar day gecko (phelsuma madagascariensis). The geckos feed on insects. It is fascinating that the animals can also run up vertical walls with the help of their suction feet. There are both diurnal and nocturnal types of climbing on vertical surfaces. They are divided into diurnal and nocturnal species and can be found all over the island


rat The Madagascar rat (Hypogeomys antimena) is a rodent from the subfamily Nesomyniae, with around 15 different species. The animals The size of the animals is quite variable and ranges from the size of a mouse to the size of the rats native to Europe. The largest representatives are the rat kangaroos or Votsotsas (Hypogeomys antimena) – with a length of up to 35 cm. Although their appearance is reminiscent of small kangaroos, they are not related to them. Their diet consists mainly of fruit that has fallen from trees. They live in long and relatively deeply dug caves.

Creeping cat or frettcat

The creeping cat Fossa or frettcat is the largest predator on the island with a head to tail length of approx. 1.40 m. Their diet consists mainly of birds and smaller mammals. A number of these cats have a resemblance to the gorse cats or the mongoose. There are 8 different species of this cat in Madagascar.


This type of cat is bred at the Duisburg Zoo


Over 60 species of tortoises are known worldwide, 9 of which are found in Madagascar.

The most common and best-known turtles in Madagascar are the up to 40 cm long radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) from the genus Astrochelys. On the

other hand, the beaked breast

turtles (Asterochelys yniphora) are very rare. On Madagascar one can still find some species from the family of pelomedus tortoises (Pelomedosidae), which is also widespread in the rest of Africa. This family of animals has the two genera Pelomedusa and Pelusios. The turtles that live here from the family are the Pelusios castaneus, Pelusios subniger and the Pelomedusa subrufa.

Other turtles found here are the spider tortoises (Pyxis arachnoides) and the flat-backed tortoise (Pyxis planicauda), the rail tortoise (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) and the smooth-edged jointed tortoise (Kinixys belliana).


The endangered species “Geochelone yniphora” and “Pyxis planicauda” are bred in the turtle reserve in Ampijoaroa.

Tanrek or Tenrek

Depending on the species, the Tanrek or Tenrek is related to the European shrews, moles or hedgehogs. There are about 30 species of the animal represented in Madagascar. The smallest species of this animal weigh only a few grams and the largest up to one kilogram. Some species prefer the ground as their habitat, others climb trees to forage and some are even aquatic life. There are types with bristles and others with fur as well as fur-bearing ones. The big tenreks, the striped tenreks and the hedgehog tenreks are worth mentioning. The animals complement the menu of the local people.


The Zebusrind be mentioned here as a frequently encountered livestock in Madagascar. Its Latin name is “Bos taurus indicus. It is particularly common in the savannah landscapes of the south and west. Far more of these cattle live on the island than there are people here

Madagascar: plants

Madagascar is home to more than 12,000 plant species, more than 80% of which are endemic, meaning that they only occur here. Among them are around 40 endemic tree species. Other peculiarities of the flora of the island state are:

– Of 170 palm species, 165 are found in Madagascar

– The Didiereaceae plant family with all species is also only found in Madagascar. The Malagasy people like to use them as fences.

– Madagascar has almost 1,000 species of orchids, around 85% of which are endemic.

– There are eight different baobab species worldwide. Six of them are endemic to Madagascar. This makes Madagascar one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.

Aloe plants

The aloe plants (Aloe vera) with their milky-white juice are mainly used for skin diseases. This species belongs to the genus of aloes (Aloe) in the

subfamily of the Affodill plants in the family of the grass tree plants (Xanthorrhoeaceae). The plants either have no trunk and if they do, then it has a diameter of about 10 cm. The aloin contained in aloe has a strong laxative effect, which is why it can also be used for constipation. The plant was introduced to the island

Spurge plants

The spurge plants (Euphorbiaceae) are a family of plants in the order of the Malpighia-like (Malpighiales). Worldwide there are about 240 genera with about 6,000 different species. The milkweed family comprises around 700 different species in Madagascar. The milkweed family includes:

– Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), which occurs mainly in Central and South America but also in Madagascar.

– Christ thorn (Euphorbia milii), it occurs with numerous subspecies in Madagascar

– Rubber tree, rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), it also occurs in Madagascar


The legumes (azuki beans) are divided into around 700 genera with around 15,000 known species. The plants can be herbaceous or also trees, shrubs and lianas. They usually have a relatively high protein content, making their fruits and seeds an important part of the human diet. They are almost indispensable, especially in the case of a low-meat, vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Examples of legumes used as food for humans and animals are for example azuki beans, green beans, peas, peanuts, chickpeas, lima beans or lentils and lupins as well as soybeans and vetches.

Baobab trees The baobab trees – also known as baobabs – are not only a real eye-catcher for nature lovers. The baobab trees (Adansonia) are a genus from the subfamily of the wool tree family (Bombacoideae) in the family of the mallow family (Malvaceae). They reach a height between 5 and 30 m. There are only eight different species of the baobab species worldwide – seven of them grow in Madagascar and six of them are even endemic. There is another type of baobab in Australia.

The baobabs are large and often bizarre growing deciduous trees. They are characterized by a relatively short, extremely thick trunk and the tree crown consists of strong, often misshapen appearing branches that form a widely spreading crown. In the unleaved state, the crown of branches is reminiscent of a root system, which has contributed to the legend that the baobab tree is a tree planted upside down. The gray-brown to gray bark is between 5 to 10 cm thick and is hard on the outside and fibrous on the inside. Therefore, the trees can withstand smaller bush fires quite well.

The sweet fruits are used as fruit or for the production of fruit juices and confectionery, and precious oil is extracted from the seeds. Ropes, ropes, straps, strings for musical instruments, baskets, nets and fishing lines are made from the fibers of the bark. The dried bark is used, among other things, as a remedy for fever.


The genus Ravenala is endemic to Madagascar. The tree species (Ravenala madagascariensis) from the genus Ravenala is used as an ornamental plant in many tropical areas worldwide because of its colorful flowers. The tree can reach a height of 10 to 15 m, with the leaves of the plant up to 3 m long. It is interesting that rainwater collects in the leaf base.

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