Saturday, April 12, 2008

Giant Palm discovered in Magadascar

clipped from

'Suicide' Plant Hailed As Botanical Wonder

The 'suicide' palm tree
The 'suicide' palm tree

A 70ft-tall plant that commits suicide when it blooms has been discovered in a remote region of Madagascar.

Scientists say the spectacular giant palm introduces an entirely new family of species, making it one of the botanical wonders of the world.

The palm sprouts a 70ft-long spire of tiny flowers once in its lifetime, dripping with nectar to beckon a host of pollinating insects.

After blooming and fruiting, the plant's nutrient resources are completely exhausted, causing it to collapse and die. Although the palm flowers fatally just once, no one knows how long it lives.

Almost as remarkable is the fact that scientists have not found it until now.

Standing at up to 65ft, with a spread of at least 30ft, the giant palm is in fact large enough to be visible on Google Earth.

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