The phanerogamic flora of the New Hebrides is mainly of the Malesian type both in floristic composition and structure of the vegetation. It is however a depauperate sample with fewer families and genera, most of which have a high proportion of elements with very wide geographical ranges of distribution. Most of the species have also been observed to have great ecological amplitude. At the level of family and genus, there is a total absence of endemic and relic elements; and only at the species level is there an appreciable degree of endemism. Unlike the Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides flora does show some regional differentiation. The northern islands appear to differ from the southern islands not only in frequencies of occurrence of species but also in the actual presence/absence of many significant groups. The flora of the New Hebrides has been found to have closer affinities with those of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga to the east than to islands to the west and northwest, despite the fact that the New Hebrides are closer geographically to the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. It is suggested that the New Hebrides have a very young immigrant flora and that the colonization of the archipelago has taken place very rapidly in very recent times. It is also maintained that plant dispersal to the islands has been trans-marine rather than by migration over land.