Bask in the Glory of Nature at Sugar Beach
December 26 2017
December 26 2017
When you think of Mauritius, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Gorgeous and pristine beaches that are fringed by glittering turquoise waters? Tropical coconut groves and luxury hotels? Or do you picture dramatic volcanic landscapes, covered in lush jungle-like interiors that are bordered by patches of vivid sugar cane? Or perhaps, all of the above? There’s no doubt that Mauritius is not only staggeringly beautiful, it’s a nature lover's dream destination. And on top of being absolutely gorgeous, there is a host of incredible activities that allow nature fans to make the most of this tropical haven.
From water-related activities in the warm, tropical waters to hikes in the nature reserves with an array of rare tropical birds and magical endemic plants waiting to be discovered. If you can’t think of anything better than exploring the breathtaking surrounds of Mauritius, you have all you could possibly want at the majestic plantation-style Sugar Beach. Situated along one of the most sublime stretches of beach in Mauritius, there is an abundance of water-sports and outdoor activities which allow you to embrace the surrounds and unbelievable Mauritian climate. What many people don’t realise about this outstanding resort is that in and amongst the manicured French gardens, there is a host of unique and incredibly special endemic plants. If you love discovering new plants and immersing yourself in your holiday destination’s natural flora, then here are some of the remarkable plants you can discover at Sugar Beach:
Gastonia Mauritiana—This plant is part of the Araliaceae family, with this particular species being endemic to Mauritius. Normally found in forests and coastal areas, Gastonia is typical of islands and has been found in huge numbers in Madagascar as well as Mauritius.
Dracaena concinna—The Dracaena is said to translate from ancient Greek into “female dragon” and forms part of a huge group of trees and shrubs (approximately 120 different species fall into this group). While many of the Dracaena hail from Africa, the Dracaena concinna is endemic specifically to Mauritius. With a high tolerance for drought and salt, it thrives in the drier areas of Mauritius and grows up to four metres long. This plant is sadly considered endangered, which is why it is a very protected plant which is why it’s so hugely important that it’s being grown in places like Sugar Beach. You can also find the Dracaena concinna in the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens.
Cordia sebestena—This colourful shrub-like tree is part of the borage family of Boraginaceae. This sensational plant can grow up to a whopping nine metres with what appears to be drooping branches that stem from a trunk that typically appears as if it has been made up with numerous trunks. The leaves are often very densely packed and contain a wonderfully dark green and are covered in fine hairs, which gives them a rough texture. The stunning, ornamental flowers bloom in brilliant orange, tend to grow in clusters and are particularly abundant in the warmer seasons such as spring and summer. A slow-growing species, these gorgeous, exotic plants are typically found by the coast in the tropics due to their tolerance for dry conditions and salt spray from the sea.
Eucalyptus citriodora—This exceptional and hugely useful plant falls under many names such as lemon-scented gum, blue spotted gum, lemon eucalyptus and Corymbia citriodora. This incredible tree can grow up to 35 metres in height (sometimes higher) and carries a strong lemon scent. In some parts of the world, the lemon-scented gum is used to make an essential oil used for a variety of purposes.
Cocos nucifera—Commonly known as the coconut tree, these idyllic island trees are the perfect addition to the gorgeous gardens at Sugar Beach and a much-welcomed sight in any tropical location. This tree is a member of the Arecaceae or palm family and is the only species of the Cocos group. What many don’t know about this plant is that the word ‘coconut’ actually refers to the whole palm, the seed or the fruit. The coconut fruit is well known for its incredible versatility—from cosmetic use, cooking oil and milk to a ‘juice’, coal (made from the hard shell) and the fruit itself which forms a huge part of the diets of people living in tropical areas. The coconut husks and leaves are also used for a huge variety of products which range from accessories to furniture and decorations and is also sometimes used in Hindu rituals.
Thespesia populnea—This amazing plant is also often referred to as the Indian tulip tree, Pacific rosewood or Portia tree and is a flowering plant that is categorised in the Malvaceae, or mallow, plant family. It tends to be a relatively small tree or shrub and thrives along coasts the world over. The wood of this tree is hugely popular for making furniture because it lends itself to being carved beautifully.
Phoenix dactylifera—More commonly known to be the date palm, this wonderful flowering plant species is also a part of the palm family Arecaceae, and is famous for its wonderfully sweet fruit. While it is thought to have originated in the areas around Iraq, it is also widely naturalised in many tropical and subtropical areas around the world. These majestic palms can reach a height of approximately 23 metres and either grow as a single tree or they can form a clump with multiple stems that then merge to form a single root system.
Hibiscus boryanus—Another plant that seems to be synonymous with tropical destinations, the Hibiscus boryanus is another remarkable plant that graces Sugar Beach’s shores with its presence. This plant forms part of the Malvaceae family and is an evergreen shrub that can grow fairly rapidly to about 2.5 metres and boasts gorgeous tropical flowers that come in a range of colours including salmon, red, white and yellow. The leaves and flowers are used for a range of purposes that include medicinal uses, but women that are expecting or trying to conceive are cautioned to avoid them.
Hibiscus tiliaceus—Another type of hibiscus reining from the same family, the Hibiscus tiliaceus is quite different in appearance to the one mentioned above. Other names for this flowering plant include sea hibiscus, beach hibiscus, coastal hibiscus, native hibiscus, native rosella, cottonwood among many others. This plant reaches a height 10 metres and has bright yellow flowers with red centres. During the day the flowers deepen to an orange before eventually turning red just before they fall. The phenomenal leaves of this plant boast wonderful heart shapes.
Acalypha hispida—Also known as the chenille plant, the Acalypha hispida is a flowering shrub which belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae and is found in many places the world over, although it is said to have its origins in tropical parts of Asia. It can grow up to 3.7 metres tall and has become slightly domesticated due to its coveted and very exotic elongated flowers that range from purple to brilliant red—also why it is sometimes referred to as “red-hot cat tail”. In favourable conditions, the flowers can grow throughout the year. It is a poisonous plant when ingested.
Apart from incredible plants, Sugar Beach also is incredible environmentally conscious, with a huge array of sustainable practices, making it the ultimate destination for nature lovers and green travellers alike.
The location you choose for your holiday in paradise can impact the quality of your experience greatly. If you are looking for a sublime hotel that offers everything (and more) that you expect from an exceptional five-star resort while being incredibly eco-conscious and able to make the most of the natural surrounds, then consider a stay at Sugar Beach. Embrace the wonders of Mauritius at this exceptional hotel and enjoy signature experiences and stellar moments that will last a lifetime.