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What Vegetables Grow in the Rainforest?

Japanese eggplant image by leemarusa from

Rainforests are characterized by large amounts of rainfall. Most vegetables need a lot of water to produce the largest crop. This makes a rainforest an excellent place to grow vegetables. The soil quality can be poor in tropical areas, but the decaying leaves of rainforest trees provide excellent compost for most vegetation.


Corn is a grain crop that needs a lot of water to produce the largest yield. It needs warm soils that reach above 65 degrees F, which can be found in rainforests. This crop should be planted in early spring or late summer. It needs plenty of nitrogen, which can be found in the decaying leaves on the rainforest floor. Corn is usually planted together as a large crop, which can make is susceptible to disease and pests, so the crops must be treated with pesticides.


The eggplant vegetable is produced by a plant of the same name. It is a perennial that can grow up to 5 feet tall. The leaves can grow as large as 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. It blooms in early summer and produces a white to purple flower that is approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. Native to India, it prefers tropical to subtropical climates with moist soils and full sun.

Black Forest Pepper

The black forest pepper is a hot pepper that is red in color with thick skin and up to 2 inches long. It is native to the Brazilian rainforest. The plant can grow up to 6 feet tall. The vegetables mature about three months after they have been planted. The black forest pepper prefers moist soils and partial sun.


The onion is a bulb vegetable that is grown underground with a vertical shoot that is used for food storage. The vegetable grows wild in rainforests in Asia. The plant prefers moist, well-drained soils and can tolerate partial sun to shade. Too much water can cause the bulbs to rot. It also needs plenty of nutrients to produce the largest bulbs.

True Yams

True yams are a flowering vegetable that is native to tropical regions all over the world. It is a tuberous, perennial vine that can grow as tall as 36 feet. The leaves are heart-shaped and are arranged in a spiral on the stems. They prefer moist, well-drained soil and full sun. Trues yams are an important food source in parts of Africa and Asia. The vegetable is an orange color that is similar to a sweet potato. The flesh in some yams is toxic when the yams are very fresh, but it loses the toxicity when cooked.

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