Included here is the Mascarene Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The main islands include Mauritius, Reunion and Rodrigues. However, savannah type vegetation is confined to the drier eastern coast of Rodriguez. Prior to the influx of exotic grasses, the main savannah grassland species were native grasses such as Cymbopogon excavatus and Vetiveria arguta. The scattered trees mainly comprise the endemic, drought resistant screw-pine Pandanus heterocarpus (Pandanaceae) and the two endemic palms Latania verschaffeltii and Mascarena verschaffeltii (Arecaceae). Other occasional trees include Gastonia custispungia (Araliaceae) and Mathurina penduliflora (Turneraceae). Among the typical herbaceous species is the cushion forming composite Abrotanella rhyncocarpa. In addition to the dryness, the plant life here is also influenced by the strong southeast trade winds. Shrubs such as Carissa xylopicron, Premna serratifolia and the endemic Fernalia buxifolia (family?) also assume a cushion forming habit seldom growing more than about half a metre high.


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