- History and Culture
Labourdonnaisia revoluta is a canopy tree that can reach up to 15 m tall. It has a straight trunk with a slightly fissured gray bark and steep branching. The foliage is compact and dark green in colour. The leaves are grouped in a vertical position at the end of the branches. The leaf blade is hard, elliptical, and often with a curved margin, it is dark green on the upper surface and greenish-yellow below. From 1 to 3 small white flowers are born in the axils of the leaves. The fruit is an ovoid, sticky berry that turns dark blue when ripe. It contains only one seed.
This endemic tree of Mauritius grows in intermediate and upland forests and is part of the canopy of the native forest. It is characterized by its conical shape and the abundance of its foliage. The flowers are pollinated by birds, geckos and bats and the fruit are dispersed by birds and bats. It is very rare to find seedlings in the wild.
This species is classified as 'Endangered' on the IUCN Red List. The plant is protected under forest restoration projects and in the reserves. The seeds propagate easily in nurseries, and plantlets are used in the forest restoration project. The population is declining due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic species.
It is a beautiful tree, which provides an excellent, durable wood, whose fineness of grain produces a beautiful finish during polishing.
Extensive use of wood in the past for structural structures of buildings and bridges as well as cabinet making has greatly contributed to its scarcity.
The curved margin of its leaves gave the Latin name of the species, revoluta.
The first sample of this plant was collected by Wenceslas Bojer in 1839.