The wet forests form the heart of the vegetation of the island of Martinique. They are composed of very humid forest species (hydrophile forest) and moderately humid species (mesophile forest).
These forests occupy a large part of the island. They are composed of two distinct, but related, areas : the wet forest (hydrophile) situated in the centre and in the north of Martinique, and the moderately wet forest (mesophile) which can be found in the area between the wet and the dry forest. They diifer in the amount of rainfall they receive. Rainfaall in the hydrophile forest exceeds 2,500mm. of rain per year, whereas it varies between 1,600mm. and 2,800mm. in the mesophile forest.
In the very wet forest we find trees with a very large span (20m. on average), which are filled with lianas, and epipthytes (ferns, orchids, and bromeliaceae such as pineapples). We find here a large variety of trees of different species – the river wood, the white gommier, the magniolia. The miconia, a small tree measuring 5 metres maximun, is also very present here.
Palm trees are mainly concentrated on the slopes of the Pitons, of Morne Jacob and on the slope of the Pelée Mountain (Macouba). The balisier is mainly found on the roadsides. Some species in this forest are endemic (they are only found in Martinique).
The moderately wet forest mainly includes trees best corded electric lawn mower like the Inga (Inga ingoîdes and Inga laurina), but Tan and Galba wood can aslo be found here. This part of the forest which is situated between the wet and the dry forest has practically been entirely destroyed by the urbanization of the island. Many species, like the milk wood and the Melastomaceae grow on the edge of the hydrophile forest before we reach the mesophile forest.
The cinnamon tree was introduced by the colonizers of the island. Trees of the Bombacaceae family are also quite numerous, but mainly grow in the area between the mesophile forest and the dry forest. As the very wet primary forest is denser and more inaccessible than the mesophile forest, it is better preserved for the moment. When the wet forest has been cut, the vegetation quickly grows back again, with shrubs and bushes with rapid growth ( like Gonzalagunia hirsuta and Piper dilatamum) appearing first, followed by tree ferns, before slowly returning to the original status of primary forest.