The chief groups, all yielding coco-nuts, pandanus fruit and yams, are Funafuti or Ellice, Nukulailai or Mitchell, Nurakita or Sophia, Nukufetau or De Peyster, Nui or Egg, Nanomana or Hudson, and Niutao or Lynx.
The natives live very largely on vegetable food, among the most important plants which supply them being the taro, yam, banana, bread-fruit, arrow-root, pandanus and coco-nut.
The forests of the granitic land, of which typical patches remain, had the characteristics of a tropical moist region, palms, shrubs, climbing and tree ferns growing luxuriantly, the trees on the mountain sides, such as the Pandanus sechellarum sending down roots over the rocks and boulders from 70 to 100 ft.
Papuans have usually a great dislike to d 'a ' rain and carry a mat of pandanus leaves as a protection against it.
Bamboos and palms, with Pandanus and Dracaena, are also abundant.
The most characteristic trees are the coco-nut palm, pandanus and mangrove.