- History and Culture
Poupartia borbonica is a large dioecious tree that can grow up to 12 meters tall, with a straight trunk that can reach a girth of up to 70 cm in diameter. The bark is of a reddish brown colour, spongy in sections, with abundant red sap. The leaves of this tree are alternate and compound, 20-25 cm long with 3-5 pairs of leaflets. The spine and veins are of an orange-yellow colour and the blade is light green. The inflorescence is terminal with small, reddish flowers and produces spherical berries resembling grapes, when ripe.
This species is endemic to the Mascarene Islands. It occurs in dry lowland and intermediate forests and some isolated individuals can be found in the wild. The seeds are dispersed by birds and germinate naturally.
It is considered ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. The plant is protected in the National Park and in private forest lands. Seeds are propagated in nurseries and seedlings are used in forest restoration projects. The population is decreasing due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic plants.
The genus Poupartia is dedicated to the botanist and anatomist François Poupart.