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Trochetiopsis erythroxylon

St Helena redwood

About the plant

The St Helena redwood, Trochetiopsis erythroxylon, is extinct in the wild. All surviving specimens are descended from a single tree found on St Helena in the 1950s.

  • Extinct in the wild

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Banked in the MSB
    Seeds from this plant have been banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Material
    Plant provides materials for manufacturing either fibre or timber
  • Click on icon to reveal more

Facts

  • Extinct in the wild
  • Pendant flowers
  • Petals turn pink with age
  • Produce lots of pollen and nectar
  • St Helena is a UK Overseas Territory

The benefits of being different

Trochetiopsis erythroxylon once grew up to 8m tall with a strong, straight trunk, so its wood quickly became a favoured building material. All but one were chopped down to build houses and boats.

The only survivor was small and had a curving trunk, making it unsuitable for construction purposes.

Today, all existing trees are clones of that last survivor. They rarely grow beyond 3m tall and often have curved limbs.


Weed out the weeds

Invasive species are the greatest threat to the native flora of St Helena.

St Helena’s conservation team ensure weed management is everyone’s responsibility, and focus on getting rid of weeds before they flower. Some of the culprits include bilberry, blue weed, bull grass, African fountain grass, furze, lantana, pheasant tail fern, whiteweed, wild mango.

St Helena has 45 species we think are endemic
  • Extinct in the wild

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Banked in the MSB
    Seeds from this plant have been banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Material
    Plant provides materials for manufacturing either fibre or timber
  • Click on icon to reveal more