Included here is the island of Java, one of the Great Sunda Islands archipelago of Indonesia.

Javan Alpine Vaccinium Zone

Between altitudes ranging from about 8000-9000 ft on Java’s Mount Gedeh and Mount Pangerango is a zone largely dominated by species of Vaccinium. Five species occur: Vaccinium coriaceum, V. ellipticum, V. laurifolium, V. lucidum and V. varingiaefolium. This particular group of Vaccinium species has become remarkable polymorphic and can develop as trees, shrubs and lianas. Vaccinium varingiaefolium is particularly versatile having been recorded as a tree, shrub, liana and can grow both terrestrially and epiphytically. However, the trees at this elevation rarely grow to more than about 20 m in height and tend to have knarled, twisted trunks. A tree of some interest is Acer niveum, which can grow near to the summit of these mountains, is the only maple on Java. Other trees include Astronia spectabilis, Eury japonica, Polyosma ilicifolia and Rapanea avensis, although in some upper sections of this zone Vaccinium varingiaefolium occurs almost to the exclusion of other trees. Among the shrubs, Rododendron is a common colourful addition with the yellow flowers of R. cilium, red flowers of R. retusum and orange-red flowers of R. javanicum. Despite its name the latter species is not endemic to Java. Herb layer species include orchids such as Dendrobium hasseltii, the attractive Impatiens platypetala and the parasitic Balanophora elongata. The latter is curious plant with a short red flower-spike and parasitizes both Albizzia and Vaccinium. Other herb layer species are Viola serpens and the near endemic Ranunculus javanicus (Ranunculaceae). Epiphytes are numerous especially ferns of the genus Polypodium such as P. hirtellum, and there are many filmy ferns like the tiny Hymenophyllum paniculiflorum. Mosses are also abundant covering virtually every tree and vine.


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