Lost to science in 1925, a native Haitian magnolia tree has been found once again.
“Despite the bleak state of the country’s degraded forests, it still harbors species like this that are found nowhere else in the world, giving us the opportunity to save them,” explains Eladio Fernández, the communications director for the Haiti National Trust and leader of the expedition.
97 years ago, the northern Haiti magnolia (Magnolia emarginata) was found in the Morne Colombo forest, which has since been destroyed by deforestation. With only 1% of the country’s original forest remaining, the magnolia tree was added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of threatened species. Recently, however, a team from the Haiti National Trust found 16 flowering magnolia trees in Haiti’s longest mountain range, Massif du Nord. The latest discoveries suggest that the species may be alive and well in the area, and the Haiti National Trust is now planning to harvest seeds to start a nursery for this almost-forgotten magnolia.