Wednesday, 25 April 2012 By: Jenny Vu

#15 A Tree with Dragon's blood

Off the coast of Yemen, the island of Socotra has been isolated for about 10 million years after Arabia and Africa split apart. In this ruthless, prehistoric and scorched environment, a large amount of unique species can be found here and no where else. Even if the soil is thin, sandy and stony, the most remarkable trees can be found here.

The Socota Dragon tree or Dragon's-blood tree can stand up to 6m (20 feet) tall and is perfectly adapted to this brutal landscape. However, due to the harsh conditions of it's environment, the tree is slow growing and takes about 200 years to reach maturity. The tree gets its name due to the blood-red resin that oozes from it's bark.

Source: en.wikipedia.org


The canopy of this amazing tree is shaped in such a way that it acts like a funnel. Since the rains only come twice every year, it is important to collect as much water as possible in such an arid environment.  It's spiky leaves are like gutters, pointing upwards and so packed together that any water that falls or condenses on them, get channeled directly to the centre of the tree's crown and eventually flows down to the roots. Also, it's canopy is so dense that when the rain recedes and the sun returns, the tree's roots are protected from the sun in the shade of it's canopy.

Source: news.nationalgeographic.com
In 2008, The island was added to UNESCO's World Heritage list.

The UNESCO World Heritage committee stated in a press statement that "The site is of universal importance because of its biodiversity with rich and distinct flora and fauna: 37 percent of Socotra's 825 plant species, 90 percent of its reptile species, and 95 percent of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world".

I hope you've enjoyed learning about this unique tree. :)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like the tree, looks like mushrooms, name are interesting as well, hehehe..........

Sally Anne said...

Wow!

Nature never ceases to amaze me. It's so interesting to think about how these things evolve and why. Often sends me off into a daydream!

Sally Anne Peters
http://www.alacraft.com.au/

Anonymous said...

YAY for awesome trees, you know me well!
but I want to hear about these rare snails lol!
from Vee

Nondu said...

interesting

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