Flora and plants in Sal

Sal Island, located in the archipelago of Cape Verde, is a small island with a semi-arid climate. The island is home to a number of plant species that have adapted to the harsh conditions of the island.

One of the most prominent plant species on Sal Island is the Prosopis juliflora, commonly known as the mesquite tree. This tree is native to South America but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including Sal Island. It is a hardy tree that can withstand drought and high temperatures. The mesquite tree provides shade and is an important source of food for wildlife, as well as providing a source of firewood for local communities.

Another common plant on Sal Island is the Euphorbia balsamifera, known locally as “tintam.” This plant has succulent leaves and produces a milky sap that is used for medicinal purposes. The sap is believed to have antibacterial properties and is used to treat wounds and skin infections.

The Salvadora persica, or “toothbrush tree,” is also found on Sal Island. The twigs of this tree are commonly used as a natural toothbrush, as they contain natural antiseptic properties that help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. The toothbrush tree is also used for medicinal purposes, as the bark and leaves of the tree have anti-inflammatory properties.

The Calotropis procera, also known as the “sodom apple,” is a plant species that is found in the arid regions of Africa and Asia, including Sal Island. This plant has a thick stem and produces large flowers that are white or pink in color. The leaves of the plant are used to treat a variety of ailments, including fever and dysentery.

Other plant species found on Sal Island include the Acacia tortilis, known locally as “bagassa,” and the Balanites aegyptiaca, or “desert date.” The bagassa tree is a common sight on Sal Island and is an important source of shade and firewood. The desert date produces fruit that is edible and is used to make a variety of food products, including jam and juice.

In addition to these plant species, Sal Island is also home to a variety of cacti, including the Opuntia ficus-indica, also known as the prickly pear cactus. This cactus produces a fruit that is edible and is used to make a variety of food products, including jams and syrups.

Overall, Sal Island’s flora is well adapted to the island’s semi-arid climate and provides important resources for local communities and wildlife. While some of these plant species have medicinal properties, it is important to note that they should not be used without proper guidance from a healthcare professional.