The flora is one of the native plants that are slowly fading away from Samoa.
This is according to Dr Art Whistler who is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hawaii who presented on Plants of Samoa: A unique but threatened flora, at the iv Samoa Conference of the National University of Samoa.
The source of the Samoan flora is predominantly Indo-Malayan to Fiji. The Samoan flora comprises 540 native species of flowering plants.
In addition to native plants, naturalized alien plants are included since they are now a natural and self-producing part of the environment.
There are 294 species that are weeds and are naturalized in Samoa. 49 are Polynesian Introduction and the rest are Modern Introduction.
“Some species may appear to be rare or extinct because of mistakes. Mistakes like the location of collection”, says Dr Whistler.
The threats that are faced by the flora and the environment are natural or man-made for instance, cyclones, droughts, tsunami, climate change caused by global warming and etc. Other threats are not directly caused by human activities.
“Further work is needed to determine which plants are being lost”, says Dr Whistler.
Our native forests needs protection. The flora of Samoa is under pressure and species are becoming extinct or extirpated.
Flora is the goddess of flowers in Roman Mythology.
In Samoa the origin are catagorised in two different parts which is the Native and Alien species.
Native Species are naturally occurring on the island while the Alien Species are not of natural occurrence to the island.
Native is then divided into two groups which is Polynesian Introduction and Modern Introduction. It will further divided into Accidental Introduction and Intentional Introduction.
“The seeds for these species arrived in three major ways: seawater flotation, borne by wind, borne by birds and bats. Only a few species in Samoa have seeds that are carried externally by birds or bats”, says Dr Art Whistler
*Vaelei is a first year Media and Journalism student at trhe National University of Samoa.