The forest vegetation, largely confined to the "Isle of Isles" and the southern uplands, includes the Adansonia (baobab), which in the Fazogli district attains gigantic proportions, the tamarind, of which bread is made, the deleb palm, several valuable gum trees (whence the term Sennari often applied in Egypt to gumarabic), some dyewoods, ebony, ironwood and many varieties of acacia.
The tamarind and banyan are also noteworthy.
The tamarind is everywhere.
In the higher regions the principal trees are various species of fig, tamarind, carob and numerous kinds of cactiform Euphorbia, of which one, the Euphorbia arborea, grows to a height of 20 ft.
It is planted in terraces on the mountain slopes; shady trees, such as tamarind and fig, are planted in the border as a protection from the sun, and the terraces are irrigated by channels led from a neighbouring rivulet or spring.
These are generally unproductive, and covered with stunted wood; but the lower country is fertile, and] finely clothed with the baobab, the tamarind and various valuable fruit-trees.
The number of fruit-bearing trees, shrubs and plants that have been introduced and are successfully cultivated or grow wild is much greater; among them are the mango, orange, banana, pineapple, coconut, palm, grape, fig, strawberry, litchi (Nephelium litchi) - the favourite fruit of the Chinese - avocado or alligator pear (Persea gratissi ma), Sapodilla pear (Achras sapota), loquat or mespilus plum (Eriobotrya japonica), Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana), tamarind (Tamarindus indica), papaw (Carica papaya), resembling in appearance the cantaloupe, granadilla (Passiflora quadrangularis) and guava (Psidium guajava).
The principal cultivated plants, apart from sugar-cane and coffee, are rice (in great variety of kinds), the coco-nut palm, the areng palm, the areca and the sago palms, maize, yams, and sweet potatoes; and among the fruit trees are the Indian tamarind, pomegranate, guava, papaw, orange and lemon.
Other trees, found chiefly on the plateaus, are the baobab, the shea-butter tree, the locust tree, gambier, palms, including the date and dum palm (Hyphaene), the tamarind, and, in the arid regions, the acacia and mimosa.
Near the hills and along the streams are strips and patches of jungle; the villages are usually surrounded with picturesque groves of tamarind, mango and other shadegiving trees.
Among cultivated fruits are the following: - Mango (Mangifera indica), plantain (Musa paradisiaca), pine-apple (Ananassa sativa), pomegranate (Punica Granatum), guava (Psidium pomiferum and P. pyriferum), tamarind (Tamarindus indica), jack (Artocarpus integrifolia), custard-apple (Anona squamosa), papaw (Carica Papaya), shaddock (Citrus decumana), and several varieties of fig, melon, orange, lime and citron.
A large variety of fruit is produced, including the tamarind, mango, banana, pine-apple, guava, shaddock, fig, avocado-pear, litchi, custard-apple and the mabolo (Diospyros discolor), a fruit of exquisite flavour, but very disagreeable odour.
The forests contain valuable timber trees such as African oak or teak (Oldfieldia Africana), rosewood, ebony, tamarind, camwood, odum - whose wood resists the attacks of termites - and the tolmgah or brimstone tree.
Various other adulterants are sometimes used, such as the inspissated juice of the prickly pear, extracts from tobacco, stramonium and hemp, pulp of the tamarind and bael fruit, mahwah flowers and gums of different kinds.