Gigasiphon macrosiphon

Gigasiphon macrosiphon

Family: Leguminosae

Natural Range: Kenya and Tanzania

IUCN Conservation Status

Critically Endangered (CR)

Found in moist coastal forest of Kenya and Tanzania, this tree can grows between 12-20m tall. This tree was once feared extinct until 1990 when the tree was rediscovered.

This species has high ornamental value because of its huge white flowers, although it is not well represented in ex situ collections (only 7 collections worldwide). The flowers can span 8 inches and allow the tree to be considered good for bee populations. The timber of this tree is used to make poles and tools.

Although assessed as Endangered on the IUCN website, a more recent assessment by the East African Plant Red List Authority lists this tree as Critically Endangered. This tree is threated by the destruction of its habitat for the expansion of agriculture and mineral extraction.

Did you know?

One species of Rhododendron (R. kanehirae) would be extinct if were not for collections made by botanic gardens.