20 Edible Rainforest Plants

The tropical rainforest is home to many different types of exotic plants and animal species. In fact, many conservationists point to the fact that the potential wealth of yet undiscovered plant and animal species is reason enough to want to conserve the rainforests. Certainly, many wonderful edible plants that we consume on a regular basis have come from the tropical rainforests.

There are many rainforest plants or fruits from these plants which can be eaten. However, there are just as many that are incredibly poisonous. So it is important to know the difference. In the following list you will know 20 different tropical rainofrest edible rainforest plants.

The List Of 20 Edible Rainforest Plants

 1. Banana: (Musa paradisiaca)


This is the most common Musa, but there are 21 species and subspecies which are edible. Probably native to tropical Asia, specifically the Malay region. Widely cultivated in the tropics.

2. Black Pepper: (Piper nigrum)

Black Pepper

A vine native to the East Indies. Black pepper is made by drying the entire fruit (peppercorn) and white pepper is produced by first hulling the fruit, then grinding. Today, the bulk is produced in India and Indonesia. The U.S.A is the chief importer.

3. Caspicum annum:


Cayenne pepper, sweet pepper, paprika, and jalapenos are just four of the many cultivars of this plant. Native to the American tropics and subtropics, grown also in temperate regions.

4. Cardamom: (Elleteria cardamom)


Native to India, the third most expensive spice after saffron and vanilla.

5. Cashews: (Anarcardium occidental)


Originally from Tropical America, a valuable nut and vitamin rich fruit from the tree.

6. Chocolate/Cocoa: (Theobroma cacao)


Native to lowland tropical America, probably first domesticated in Mexico. Chocolate and cocoa are made from the dried, ground seeds or “beans” of this small tree. Commercially grown primarily throughout the West African tropics.

7. Citrus: (Citrus sp.)

Citrus fruit

Citrus fruits are among the most prized fruits. Over 55 million tons are consumed annually: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, and others. Evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia; now grown throughout the world. The largest citrus is the Pummelo.

8. Coconut: (Cocos nucifera)


Probably originated in the Indo-Pacific region. Now found on virtually every tropical shore but not in the rainforests themselves. Used for fruit, oils, and fibers.

9. Coffee: (Coffea arabica and others)


Believed to be native to North East Africa. Coffee is made from the seed or “bean” of this small tree or shrub. Produced throughout the tropics.

10. Cola: (Cola nitida)

Jamaican trees Cola

Used in soft drinks. Native to West Africa. Same family as Cacao. Jamaican trees provide much of U.S. supply.

11. Mango: (Magnifera indica)


Originally from India, this tasty fruit is now a valuable export in many parts of the tropics.

12. Mung Bean: (Vigna radiata)

Mung Bean

Native to India. Has great potential as a food. Makes a nutritious and versatile flour.

13. Nutmeg: (Myristica fragrans)


Seeds of a tree from the Southeast Asian Mollucan Islands. Mace is another spice derived from nutmeg.

14. Peanut: (Arachis Hypogaea)


Probably native to South America. Grown widely in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions of the world. Important as a source of protein and oils. Not a “nut,” but a bean.

15. Pineapple: (Ananas comosus)


Thought to have been domesticated by the Guarani of Brazil and Paraguay during the Pre-Columbian Era. Produced widely in the tropics and subtropics.

16. Squash/ Cucumber: (Curbita sp.)


Many native to the American tropics. Cultivated in tropical and subtropical America and temperate zones.

17. Turmeric: (Curcum longa)


Native to the Southeast Orient and cultivated in India. Related to ginger. Dried, ground rhizomes produce the spice.

18. Tamarind:


Of the legume family, this small tree is thought to have originated in India. Now grown throughout the tropics. Used as a table fruit, drink, preserves, and also has medicinal properties.

19. Vanilla: (Vanilla planifolia and others)


Indigenous to tropical America, this is the most commercially important of all the 35,000 species of orchid. Made from the dried seeds of the rainforest orchid tree. Commercially grown, especially in Madagascar.

20. Sesame: (Sesamum indicum)


An ancient oil seed plant originally from Africa. Now commercially grown primarily in Southeast Asia. Highly nutritious.

I hope you will like this 20 Edible Rainforest Plants list, please check other posts on this website to  know more about tropical rainforest and rainforest plants!

2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Very neat blog post.Really thank you! Will read on…

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