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Discover the forest

Although we can never be sure what the forest will reveal on any particular day, the following plants and animals can be found in the forests. Endemic species (only found in Sri Lanka) are marked with an (e).


High canopy (30-40m)

Na (Mesua nagassarium) (e)
National tree of Sri Lanka, whole plant is medicinal. The pollen and seeds are made into an ointment and put on the skin to help heal broken bones. Flowers are used in temple offerings

Etamba (Mangifera zeylanica) (e) (wild mango)
Fruit is edible and the whole plant is medicinal. The bark is made into a paste and put on the skin to help heal broken bones.

Hora (Dipterocarpus zeylanicus) (e)
Wood used in construction and as plywood, gum is medicinal

Yakahalu dun (Shorea dyeri) (e)
Timber is used in heavy construction

Mid canopy (15-30m)
Wal del (Artocarpus nobilis) (e)
Seeds are edible and wood is used in construction

Kekuna (Canarium zeylanicum) (e)
Wood is used in light construction, bark is medicinal – when powdered it is used as soap to improve skin. Seeds are edible. Resin is used for incense.

Low canopy (up to 15m)

Weniwel (Coscinium fenestratum)
A woody climber with smooth bark. The wood can be made into a bitter tonic and used as a remedy, or as prevention, for tetanus. The root has antiseptic properties and is used for dressing wounds. This vine is highly threatened due to over collection for its medicinal properties.

Shrubs (ground level) and epiphytes
Insectivorous pitcher plant (Nepenthes distillatoria) (e)
This plant attracts small insects such as ants, traps and dissolved them in its pitcher to extract its nutrients - mainly nitrogen.
It has three ways of attracting insects:

  1. The liquid in the pitcher releases an attractive scent
  2. Plant colour attracts
  3. Insects come to drink the liquid, mistaking it for plain water
It also has medicinal properties – when the pitcher is closed the liquid can be drunk and used as a remedy for coughs.

Wild Ginger (Zingiberaceae)

Buffer species
Milla (Vitex altissima)

Kithul (Caryota urens) (e)
Used to make jaggery, treacle and toddy (a local alcohol)


Sri Lanka Rufous Babbler (e)
Crimson Fronted Barbet (e)
Oriental Honey Buzzard
Little Cormorant
Crested Drongo (e)
Greater Flameback (e)
Legge’s Flower Pecker (e)
Tickell’s Flowerpecker
Azure Flycatcher
Grey Hornbill (e)
Ceylon Jungle Fowl (e)
Three Toed Kingfisher
Sri Lankan Blue Magpie (e)
Red-faced Malkoha
Pied Shrike
White-headed Starling (e)
Malabar Trogon Firebird

Black Ruby Barb (e)
Cherry Barb (e)
Stone Sucker
Two Spot Barb
Walking Catfish

Visual sightings are difficult so presence of larger mammals are usually seen through droppings, tracks, calls etc. They include:
Golden Palm Cat (e)
Giant Squirrel
Mouse Deer
Sambar Deer
Purple-Faced Leaf Monkey (e)
Northern Toque Macaque (e)
Wild Boar

Barnes Cat Snake (e)
Blossom Krait (e)
Chequered Keelback (e)
Flowery Wolf Snake
Green Pit Viper (e)
Green Vine Snake
Gunther’s Bronze-back (e)
Hump Nosed Pit Viper
Pipe Snake (e)
Sri Lanka Wolf-snake (e)
Templeton’s Kukri Snake (e)

Lizards, geckos and skinks
Hump-nosed Lizard (e)
Sri Lanka Kangaroo Lizard (e)
Green Garden Lizard
Rough-Nosed Horned Lizard (e)
Great Forest Gecko (e)
Three-toed Skink (e)

Corrugated Water Frog (e)
Leaf-Dwelling Shrub Frog (e)
Common Shrub Frog (e)
Sri Lanka Rock Frog (e)
Common Wood Frog
Wrinkled Frog (e)
Sri Lanka Reed Frog
Sharp Nosed Tree Frog (e)
Torrent Toad (e)

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insectiversous pitcher plant
Insectiversous pitcher plant

Green vine snake

Exacum trinervium
Exacum trinervium

Purple faced leaf monkey
Purple faced leaf monkey


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