Trying to find a feminine companion for the world’s “loneliest” plant

Map from drone mission search for the Encephalartos Woodii in the Ngoye Forest in South Africa.

Enlarge / Map from drone mission seek for the Encephalartos Woodii within the Ngoye Forest in South Africa. (credit score: CC BY-NC)

“Certainly that is probably the most solitary organism on this planet,” wrote paleontologist Richard Fortey in his ebook in regards to the evolution of life.

He was speaking about Encephalartos woodii (E. woodii), a plant from South Africa. E. woodii is a member of the cycad household, heavy vegetation with thick trunks and huge stiff leaves that type an imposing crown. These resilient survivors have outlasted dinosaurs and a number of mass extinctions. As soon as widespread, they’re in the present day probably the most threatened species on the planet.

The one recognized wild E. Woodii was found in 1895 by the botanist John Medley Wooden whereas he was on a botanical expedition within the Ngoye Forest in South Africa. He searched the neighborhood for others, however none may very well be discovered. Over the subsequent couple of many years, botanists eliminated stems and offshoots and cultivated them in gardens.

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