What are fire resistant plants?

Although it is surprising to us, there are plants that are able to revive after being victims of a fireand there are even others that can only germinate if their seeds are exposed to very high temperatures. They are called pyrophilic or pyrophytic plants.

Would you like to know what are fire resistant plants? At Gardening On we want you to know everything about gardening, but also about the plant world, so we are going to introduce you to this type of curious plants.

What are pyrophilic plants?

They are plants that have evolved to adapt to a habitat where natural fires are common, such as in the eucalyptus forests of Australia, or in some parts of the African continent.

When the rest of vegetal beings succumb to fire, pyrophytes take advantage of the ashes to feed and grow. Some, in fact, need to be exposed to very high temperatures in order to germinate, as is the case with proteas.

These are the ones that are used to reforest, be it a forest, a jungle, or even a garden. It is common for fire resistant trees to be planted in a row, bordering an entire area; In this way, it is possible to create a fire barrier, protecting those plants that do not support it, and of course also everything that there is, such as houses for example.

What are fire resistant plants?

Pyrophilic plants are classified depending on their degree of adaptability and the damage they suffer during a fire. For this reason, we are going to tell you some species of each group:

Species that survive fires

These plants are those that usually have a thick bark, apical buds on branches that are protected, underground organs such as bulbs, rhizomes or tubers, and / or a very thick layer of subber, which is a dead tissue that protects the interior of the plant. trunk. If the fire moves fast but the temperature stays low, they will suffer damage, but they will survive thanks to their adaptations.

araucaria auracana

The Araucaria auracana is a conifer

The araucaria auracana or pehuén it is a very slow growing conifer that has a very thick barkwhich protects the precious conducting vessels of sap that are inside. For this reason, it supports fire well, because after an event of this importance it is easier for it to colonize other areas of forest. It can be 50 meters tall and its trunk thickens up to 3 meters in diameter.

Araucaria angustifolia

The Araucaria angustifolia is a pyrophilic conifer

The Araucaria angustifoliaknown as Paraná pine or candelabra pine, is a conifer native to South America, where it grows wild in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay. It has a height of 10 to 35 metersand its trunk measures between 50 and 120 centimeters in diameter. Its life expectancy is up to 200 years, and all thanks to the fact that it resists fire without problems.

butia horizontal

There are several palms that resist fire, but few do as well as the butia horizontal. Native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and the northeast of Argentina, can reach a height of up to 12 meters and live for several centurieseven if there are fires.

Plants that sprout from their base

The pyrophilic plants of this group are those that have branches and leaves unable to withstand the flames, but in return they do can sprout from the base, either from its trunk, roots, or underground organs. Of course, it must be taken into account that whether or not they re-sprout will depend a lot on the intensity and duration of the fire: the less damage it causes, the easier it will be for the plants to survive.


The Cistus is a perennial shrub

The cistus, known as rockrose or steppes, are pyrophytic shrubs that live in the Mediterranean region. Its height varies depending on the species, but they do not usually exceed 2 meters in height. The flowers are hermaphroditic and white.


Eucalyptus trees sprout after a fire

The eucalyptus are very fast growing evergreen trees that can reach heights of more than 40 meters. They mainly inhabit Australia, where they form dense forests. They are, by many, the plants that best resist fires. Unfortunately that is one of the reasons why they are used a lot for reforestation, endangering native plants.

Nothofagus antarctica

The Nothofagus antarcticaknown as Antarctic beech, is a deciduous tree native to the Andean Patagonian forest, between southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. It grows between 10 and 25 meters in heightand develops a trunk that branches short of the ground.

Fire resistant fruits and / or seeds

This group of pyrophiles are those that die during a fire leaving their fruits and / or seeds intact. Its aerial part, that is, its leaves, branches, etc. They do not resist fires, but that is not a problem, because their seeds will germinate when they pass.


Pinus pinea, the stone pine

The pines, although it may seem otherwise, do not support fire either. But its seeds, being somewhat protected in the cones or “pineapples” (not to be confused with the edible pineapple of the tropical plant Pineapple comosus) can germinate after a fire. Fortunately, some species grow fast, such as propagating through a pine forest (Pinus halepensis)., Pinus pinaster o Pine cone. All of them are evergreen trees that exceed 10 meters in heightand that grow in almost any type of soil.


Proteas germinate after a fire

Our protea They are shrubby plants mainly from Africa. They produce really pretty flowers, colors ranging from pink to red. Nevertheless, in order to perpetuate their species they need a fireafter which the mother plant will die, but its seeds will germinate.

sage rosmarinus (before it was Rosemary officinalis)

Rosemary is a plant that resists drought

El romero is a herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean region with woody stems that reaches a height of approximately 1 meter. The leaves are lanceolate, green in color, and produce white, purple, blue or pink flowers.

Plants that profit from fires

Finally we have this group of plants, unable to withstand fire but still benefit from it. These can also be called pioneer plants, since they are the ones that repopulate a burned area.

strict aristida

Aristida stricta is a colonizing plant

The strict aristida It is a grass native to the United States. Its stems are thin, and green in color. It has an extraordinary ability to colonize a land that has suffered a fire, so in its place of origin it is very common for it to be one of the first to appear on a burned land.

Epilobium angustifolium

Epilobium angustifolium is an herb that produces pink flowers

The Epilobium angustifolium is a perennial herb native to the northern hemisphere that reaches a height of between 50 centimeters and 2,5 meters in height. Its leaves are lanceolate and entire, green in color, and it produces flowers grouped in purple spikes.

Tremulous people

Aspen grows after a fire

The Tremulous people it is a deciduous tree known as aspen. It is native to North America, and can reach a height of 35 metersalthough the normal thing is that it does not exceed 20 meters. Its trunk is thin, about 30 centimeters thick, and has rounded leaves.

Did you know that there were plants that resisted fires?

What are fire resistant plants?

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