Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

Roussea simplex

Restricted to the island of Mauritius, Roussea simplex is a critically endangered shrub or liana that is pollinated by a gecko.
Adult male gecko forages at fruits of Roussea simplex

Adult male gecko forages at fruits of Roussea simplex, using a mixture of licking and chewing at the pulp and swallowing the tiny seeds in the process (Photo: D. M. Hansen)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Roussea simplex Sm.

Common name: 

liane Rousseau (French)

Conservation status: 

Critically Endangered (CR) according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Wet high-altitude forest.

Key Uses: 

Scientific interest; potential ornamental.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Asteranae
Order: 
Asterales
Family: 
Rousseaceae
Genus: Roussea

About this species

Roussea simplex is a climbing shrub, or liana, native to the mountain forests of Mauritius, and is considered to be a ‘botanical oddity’. First, it is the only species in the genus Roussea, so if it became extinct we would lose not just a species, but a whole genus and a family of plants. In addition, it has puzzled botanists for many years, because careful study of its form and structure have yielded no clues as to which other plant families it is related to. Recent genetic studies have shed light on this question and placed it close to the Campanulaceae (bellflower family).

Genus: 
Roussea

main info

Courses at Kew

Kew offers a variety of specialist training courses in horticulture, conservation and plant science.

Students learn about plant taxonomy and identification

Why People Need Plants

A compelling book from Kew Publishing that explores the crucial role that plants play in the everyday lives of all of us.

image of book cover