Which plants grow in the rain forests?
More than two-thirds of the world's plant species are found in the tropical rain forests of the world. In this environmentwhere there is abundant plant growth with little ground space for roots and plenty of moisturesome plants grow high up in trees. These epiphytes, or air plants, have fibrous, spongy, aerial roots that get moisture from the frequent rains and take minerals from the surface of the tree on which they grow, or from the plant debris that gathers around their roots. Many orchids and bromeliads are epiphytic plants. Other plants that grow in this unique environment include bamboo, which is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Found in Asian rain forests, the plant can grow 6 to 15 inches (15 and 38 centimeters) a day, reaching as tall as 120 feet (36.5 meters). The hearty grass, which is hard like wood, is used in the tropics to build houses, rafts, and bridges, and to make mats, hats, fish traps, chopsticks, and musical instruments. Other unique plants, many of which provide food and products for local populations, include Brazil nut trees, cacao trees, palm trees, kapok trees, rubber tree plants, and climbing plants called lianas.