THE PLANT GARDEN AT LA FERME AUX CROCODILES
Carnivorous plants (Nepenthes)
Among these plants from Equatorial Asia and from Madagascar, the tip of the leaves is turned into a receptacle containing a thick liquid mixed with gastric juices. The insects are attracted by the nectar found around the opening and fall into it. The lid is fixed and does not close when an insect is caught. It prevents too much rain water from falling into the trap.
Ferns are primitive plants. We find them right after the moss in the botanical classification. They are flowerless but possess all the usual organs of the plants: roots, stems and leaves. The latter are called crosiers because they grow coiled up and are crook-shaped. Ferns have changed very little since the Primary era, particularly the big tree fern. They only reproduce through spore cases. Epiphytic and aquatic ferns also exist.
Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus)
Papyrus was grown in Egypt 16 centuries before our era. Its stems were used to make objects (canoes, wickerwork), and its roots were used as fuel. Its best known use is paper-making. They are of 2 kinds: the sacred or hieratic papyrus which is made from the internal layers of the plant and the coarser leneotic papyrus. First introduced in Europe in 1803, it is now used as decorations. Its quick growth and elegant look set it among the most sought-after plants for interior or hothouse decoration.
Frangipani (Plumeria Rubra)
It is also called "Bois Couleuvre" in patois (approx. grass snake wood). Several varieties of frangipani trees can be found on the island. This small twisting tree is native to tropical America and the West Indies. Its bare branches spread out horizontally and are covered at their end with deciduous leaves and very fragrant, jasmine-smelling, flowers (yellow, red or white) during the flowering time. It withstands drought and sea spray. The sap is poisonous and is sometimes used to burn warts but the flowers are edible. They were formerly used in confectionery and jam making.