- History and Culture
The height of Agauria salicifolia can vary according to its environment, ranging from a shrub to a tree of 15-20 meters high Its bark is pale brown at the base of the trunk and gradually turns grey upwards. The elliptical leaves are paler on their top surface and bright green underneath. Its flowers are bright red to dark, bell-shaped and grow in terminal clusters of 10 to 20. Its fruit consist of four-lobed capsules.
The plant is endemic to Mauritius and Reunion and grows in sites exposed to the wind. It also survives on mountain tops and eroded soils where it grows as a shrub. It is considered a pioneer species, and is known, along with other species, as being one of the first species to have colonized Mauritius and Reunion after volcanic activities.
This species is not subject to a specific conservation project because its status is classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List, but it can be used in forest rehabilitation and landscaping. It is difficult to find seeds for timely propagation because the fruit bursts at maturity.
History has it that the population of Cabri wood was reduced by the cabri (goats) present on the island. The plant is also used as fodder on farms.
Floralis. 2001. Endemics in Mondrain - Agauria salicifolia var. salicifolia. [En ligne] http://pages.intnet.mu/nathraj/agasa.html
Mi-aime-a-ou.com. n.d. Agarista salicifolia (Comm. ex Lam.) G. Don. [En ligne]. http://www.mi-aime-a-ou.com/agarista_salicifolia.php