Bois bananeGaertnera psychotrioides

  • Forests
  • Mountain slopes and forests
  • Flora
  • Endemic
  • Medicinal


Gaertnera psychotrioides is a small tree or shrub that reaches 6m in height. The bark is dark brown, sometimes soft and generally thin and deciduous. The young branches are smooth or very lightly puberulent. Leaves have oblong-oval laminas. They are rounded at the tip and cuneiform at the base. The midvein is prominent and white in colour. The stipules are fused in a cylindrical sheath and can be 3 to 10 mm long. The white, waxy flowers are fragrant, while the inflorescence is highly branched reaching up to 13 cm in girth and the fruit is white-cream and turns bluish at maturity.

Habitat and ecology

Gaertnera psychotrioides is endemic to Mauritius. It grows in intermediate forests and moss and heathland forests between 400 and 700 meters above sea level. It is found in the forest of Bel Ombre.The flowers are pollinated by birds, geckos and flies, and the fruit are dispersed by birds. The plant regenerate well in the wild and can colonise an area rapidly.


Conservation and threats

Classified as an ‘Endangered’ species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, G. psychotrioides is threatened by invasive plants such as Chinese guava, Psidium cattleianum, Ligustrum robustum and Ravenala, Ravenala madagascariensis that spread and destroy the heather areas where the plant grows.

Did you know?

Gaertnera Psychotrioides has medicinal properties, it can be used for the treatment of rheumatism and skin infections.

The first plant sample was collected by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1830.