Seychelles plant research & conservation

I was actively involved in plant conservation in Seychelles through biodiversity surveys, ecological research and conservation on Silhouette island.


We were interested in contributing to the understanding of the origins, relationships and conservation status of Seychelles plants and encouraged research on population genetics and phylogeography. In order to facilitate such research I have samples of Acacia cf. pennata, Achyrospermum seychellarum, Asystasia cf. gangetica, Hypoxidia rhizophylla, Malaxis seychellensis, Morinda citriflolia, Piper seychellarum, Platylepis goodyeroides, Platylepis sechellensis, Pseuderanthemum subviscosum, Rapanea seychellarum, Seychellaria thomasseti and Trilepisium gynandrum.These can be made available for genetic analysis.


The NPTS carried out studies of the genetics of Seychelles plants in collaboration with the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. This included the endemic plants Rothmannia annae and the Seychelles Gastonia species (G. crassa, G. lionneti and G. seychellarum).

We collaborated with Aride Island Special Reserve and the Seychelles Botanic Gardens in re-establishing the endangered Wright's gardenia Rothmannia annae on Silhouette island. 100 years ago this species was found on several islands but is now restricted to Aride island where 900 trees survive. The first saplings of this species were planted on Silhouette in January and June 2001. Flowering first occurred in late 2006.

Impatiens gordonii

We worked on the conservation of the Critically Endangered Impatiens gordonii with the Seychelles Botanic Gardens and the Eden Project. This species has only been recorded on Mahe and Silhouette islands. For many years it was thought to be extinct but two plants were rediscovered on Mahe. In 1995 a population of some 200 plants was found on Silhouette. We established a new population on Silhouette and carried out research aimed at improving the prospects of this species. The results of this work were published in 2011 in Conservation Evidence.

On Silhouette new populations of rare endemic species were established until this work came to an end with the eviction of conservationists from the island.

NPTS work on Angiosperm species of importance on Silhouette

Family Species Seychelles status IUCN category NPTS work
Acanthaceae Pseuderanthemum subviscosum Silhouette only - new populations
Apocynaceae Carissa spinarum Silhouette only - propagation
Arialaceae Gastonia seychellarum endemic Vu propagation
Balsaminaceae Impatiens gordonii endemic - new populations
Labiatae Achyrospermum seychellarum endemic, Silhouette only Cr new populations
Moraceae Trilepisium gymnandrum endemic, Silhouette only Cr new populations
Myrsinaceae Rapanea seychellarum endemic Cr monitoring
Nepenthaceae Nepenthes pervillei endemic Vu monitoring
Nyctaginaceae Pisonia sechellarum Silhouette endemic En monitoring
Piperaceae Piper seychellarum Silhouette endemic Vu research
Rubiaceae Psychotria silhouettae Silhouette endemic Cr research
Rothmannia annae endemic Vu reintroduction
Sapotaceae Mimusops seychellarum endemic Vu propagation
Northea hornei endemic Vu propagation
Palmae Lodoicea maldivica endemic Vu management
Triuridaceae Seychellaria thomassetii endemic Vu research

Seychelles biodiversity

Phelsuma journal


Justin Gerlach by e-mail