Majestic, massive tree species discovered in Brazil

Main report: Probably the world's heaviest living organism described in 2017?
(Kew Gardens Blog)

Scientific Paper: Kew Bulletin   
New Taxa: Dinizia jueirana-facao
Species named for: local name for the tree, "jueirana-facão"; facão is the Portuguese for a large knife or machete and alludes to the scabbard-like fruits. Jueirana is derived from the Tupi word yuá-rana. Rana in Tupi means similar to, so yuá-rana or jueirana means false juá (or similar to juá).
Categories: New Species | Plants
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Kew scientists, in collaboration with researchers from Brazil and Canada, have discovered one of the largest trees in the world.  The tree grows to a whopping 40 metres with an estimated weight of up to 62 tonnes, according to authors, likely making it the world’s heaviest living organism.  (Editor’s note: redwoods have been measured over 2,000 tons).  It is as tall as a 12 story building and as heavy as a sperm whale.  Dinizia jueirana-facao, was discovered in the Reserva Natural Vale, in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo, an area of 22,000 hectares of pristine Atlantic Forest, the largest protected area of semi-deciduous forest in eastern Brazil.  It is critically endangered, with only 25 known individuals – a fact which helps to explain why such a majestic species has gone undiscovered and scientifically unnamed for so long.

Collecting material from the type specimen of Dinizia jueirana-facao. Credit: D.A. Folli

 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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