The Dragon’s Blood Tree grows on a desert island. How it has survived there for millions of years is quite clever. Its home is Socotra, a small island in the Arabian Sea 150 miles east of the Horn of Africa.
There is very little actual soil on the rocky island, which has been called “the most alien-looking place on earth.” Millions of years ago it was a lush tropical island, but climates do change. As other vegetation succumbed to desertification, the Dragon’s Blood Tree, with its waxy upturned leaves, collected moisture from occasional morning mists arriving from the sea. The tiny droplets ran down the tree’s many branches to its roots, and other droplets fell to the ground and were shaded by the huge green umbrella above; a perfect example of survival through adaptation.
Photograph by Rod Waddington.
- Nature & Environment