Leonardo DiCaprio speaks on stage at the Dinner & Auction during The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation 3rd Annual Saint-Tropez Gala at Domaine Bertaud Belieu on July 20, 2016 in Saint-Tropez, France. Photo Credit: Handout/Getty Images

EnvironmentHeroes Cameroon18. January 2022

Endangered Plant Gets a Famous Name

An evergreen tree endemic to the tropical Ebo Forest in Cameroon has been named after Leonardo DiCaprio since the actor and environmental activist petitioned against the logging of the plant’s environment.

“We very much appreciated the support Leo gave us in campaigning to protect Ebo last year so it seemed fitting to honor him in this way, naming a species unique only to this forest, after him,” says study author Martin Cheek, a researcher at RBG Kew.

The first newly identified plant species described by science this year — a critically endangered one — has been named Uvariopsis dicaprio, after the Oscars winner successfully petitioned against the logging of 69,000 of the Ebo Forest’s 202,000 acres. The plant reaches 4 meters and has yellow-green leaves. U.dicario grows in an unprotected region of the forest home to a variety of endangered species like western gorillas and forest elephants. Naming a plant after the famous artist sheds a light on the still fragile state the forest is in and the efforts required to save such ecosystems.


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