What would our world be without trees? Not worth living, in our mind. Our green planet still holds over 73,000 species of trees 🌲 🌳 🌴 , though there are some that are either very uncommon, or in danger of extinction. We’ve gathered a list of four of the most rare from around the globe, what makes them special, and why they’re rare. 🌍
The giant baobab, or Adansonia, are a fascinating tree native to Africa, and less commonly in Asia and Australia. A long-living deciduous tree, they’re sometimes referred to as “upside-down” trees, due to their unusual appearance. Known to live for over 2,400 years, baobabs have the ability to hold huge amounts of water in their trunks, up to 32,000 gallons.
In the last decade or so, however, the oldest and largest of these beautiful trees have been dying off, due to climate change and rising temperatures.
2. Dragon’s Blood Tree
We’ve always loved the highly unusual, wildly-named Dragon’s Blood Tree, which lives only on the archipelago of Socotra, located in Yemen. The scientific name is Dracaena cinnabari.
Their tightly-packed canopy is very distinctive, looking almost like it’s been trimmed or manicured. It appears almost like an umbrella from a distance. When the bark is cut, the tree bleeds dark red sap, hence the memorable name. These rare trees are threatened by human encroachment, and by the tree’s poor regeneration.
3. Monkey Puzzle Tree
Yet another unusual name is fitting for this additional unusual tree.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree, or Araucaria araucana, is native to southern Chile and western Argentina. The tree’s appearance is so similar to species from ancient prehistory that it’s often referred to as a living fossil.
The tree’s hard, sharp leaves resemble scales, and cover the majority of the limbs and branches. The leaves themselves live for an average of 24 years, making the tree feel extremely hardy. Sadly the tree is now considered endangered, due to wildfire, grazing, and logging.
4. Quiver Tree
We’re least familiar with the Quiver tree, which has some visual similarities to some of the others, while remaining decidedly unique.
The Quiver Tree, or Aloidendron dichotomum, native to South Africa and Namibia is actually a tall branching species of succulent plant. It gets its name from the San people, who would hollow out the branches of the tree to make a quiver for their arrows.
The tree’s strange, alien-like appearance have inspired numerous science fiction books and films, including Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Climate change has negatively impacted the tree, making them vulnerable to extinction.