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Mampay Eligmocarpus cynometroides

Eligmocarpus cynometroides, a Critically Endangered tree of the Legume family, was first discovered in 1951, formally named in 1968 and, at the present rate of destruction, will probably be soon extinct, less than a hundred years after its discovery. However, Kew and others are working with local communities to secure the future of this unique tree.

The species is found only on the ‘mega-diverse’ island of Madagascar, but now only 21 individuals survive due to habitat destruction, harvesting (the tree’s timber is ideal for construction) and poor germination of its seeds. The area is also a potential mining site, making the future of Eligmocarpus cynometroides bleak.
 
Now known only from the Petriky Forest area, in the south-east of the island, its woody, vanilla scented, unique tightly folded fruits are thought to be an adaptation to water dispersal. The trees can grow between 7 m and 15 m and has yellow flowers with 5 of its 10 stamens fused and with tufts of long hairs. 
 
Thanks to Dr Felix Forest, RGB Kew, for the photographs
 
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