The island continent Madagascar has no less than five spacious climate zones. Each climate zone contains specific vegetation types. With an abundance of approximately 13 000 species, the big island is simply an inexhaustible treasure trove of plant life. Every year new species are being discovered. In Germany, by contrast, there are only about 1,500 plant species.
Among the 210 domiciled plant families, there are 5 families that are endemic in Madagascar. These are Asteropeiaceae, Barbeuiaceae, Pysenaceae, Sarcolaenaceae, Sphaerosepalaceae. The Didiereaceae family was still counted as an endemic plant family for Madagascar until a few years ago, when a representation of this group was discovered in South Africa. As to the biodiversity, the Madagascan flora is characterised by high endemism. Over 80% of the Madagascan plant species are endemic.
The orchid families with over 1,000 species, the coffee plants with roughly 400 species and the grasses with about 300 species are particularly diverse. Madagascar's world of succulents is also particularly interesting. The six endemic baobab species, the kalanchoe species, the thickened stem plants of the Pachypodium species, the Madagascan aloe species and the spurge family flourish in the dry areas of the highlands, in the South and in the dry part in the North of Madagascar.