09 January, 2008

Dendroseris Neriifolia

As plants go, it doesn't look like anything special -- droopy, elongated leaves and tiny yellow-white flowers.

What makes Dendroseris neriifolia so unusual and the object of so much study is that there is only one known specimen living in the wild. It is the world's rarest plant and, like scores of other species on rugged Robinson Crusoe island, it somehow survives literally on the precipice of extinction on this speck of land lost in the South Pacific.

Known to a few travel connoisseurs as the place where the real-life Robinson Crusoe was marooned in the 18th century, the island attracts naturalists who come to study what is believed to be the world's largest number of endemic plant species per square mile. There are 124 unique plant species -- occurring nowhere else on earth -- on an island of a mere 36 square miles. Read more on Forests.org

For more: IUCN, Arkive, True KnowledgeZipcodezoo, Wikipedia, amjbot.org, Scholar

Image: Google

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