- History and Culture
Badula insularis is an upright tree, that can reach up to 6 meters tall, with brittle branches and dense foliage, clustered at the tips of its branches. The leaf margin is slightly curved, obovate at the obtuse apex. The species is heterophile, the lower leaves have prominent veins spotted with red and black. The inflorescence is axillary located in the leafy part of the branches, bearing small white flowers. The dried fruit can reach a diameter of 7 mm.
This endemic species of Mauritius grows mainly in wetland areas and occasionally in intermediate forests. It is usually found in areas exposed to the wind and with high rainfall. The flowers are pollinated by birds and geckos and produce many fruits, but it is rare to find new plants in nature because soil conditions are not favourable for seed germination.
Badula insularis or guinea fowl as it is also known, is classified as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. Propagation tests by seedlings and cuttings are difficult in nurseries. The plant is protected under the forest restoration project, in the National Park and in the reserves. The population is declining due to the loss of natural habitat and the invasion of exotic species.