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Tropical Plants in Cambodia

pitcher plant image by Kho Guan Ann from

Tropical plants in Cambodia are similar to those in Thailand and Vietnam. Aside from tropical fruits, like pineapple, coconut, jackfruit, and durian, there is a wide range of different other plants. The tropical forests of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, are rich in biodiversity. In addition to thick, lush rain forest, areas around the Mekong river are frequent sites of new species discoveries.

Pitcher Plant

The pitcher plant, Nepenthes bokorensi, is native to Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries. Pitcher plants are climbing plants that can grow to nearly 10 feet tall. Their pitchers, which contain a sweet substance to attract insects who become trapped and are digested, can range in size from 4 to 7 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. The leaves of the plant are bright green, with the pitchers ranging from orange with red stripes to completely red. The openings to the pitchers are ringed with orange or brown hairs. These hairs help to knock insects back inside the pitcher when they try to crawl out.


A form of ginger, Globba graminifolia, is also native to Cambodia. This ginger is also sometimes called Globba siamensis. Globba plants are ginger plants that have pendant-like blooms that are sometimes called dragons because of their uncanny resemblance to the mythical Asian dragon. Globba siamensis, however, is sometimes called "the dancing lady" because of its resemblance to a dancer. Globa siamensis grows to about 9 inches tall, propagates via rhizomes, and features yellow and red leaves.


Gardenia godefroyana is a form of gardenia native to Cambodia. Gardenia godefroyana is a bush that has young branches that are between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. The glossy leaves lighten with rain, but darken during drier parts of the year. The leaves are about 2 inches long and about 1 inch wide. The flowers of this gardenia grow either singly or in pairs. They are about 2 inches long with five petals. When fertilized, they turn into elliptical fruit about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide. These fruit produce seeds that won't exceed 1/2 inch in diameter.

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