South and Central America are home to the ‘neotropics’
– the most biologically diverse region on Earth.
One quarter of all plant and animal species live
here, the majority of which are found nowhere else.
90 million years ago the rising Andes Mountains divided this landmass
and drove the evolution of many new plant and animal species. Now
a huge range of habitats exist across the continent:
• dwarf mountain forests dripping with moss
• valleys of billowing Pampas Grass (Cortaderia)
• aromatic Mediterranean-type scrub
• mountains of misty cloud forest
• Chaco lowlands where temperatures fluctuate from frost to
These habitats have many fascinating endemic species, yet they
are also the least botanically explored in the world.
Did you know?
The ‘neotropics’ or New World tropics contains some of the most
pristine environments on Earth, and some of the most intriguing and endangered
plants. To many, it is a world still waiting to be discovered.
up to: temperate house plants
to: American fuchsias