- History and Culture
D. chrysophyllos is a shrub that can grow up to 4 meters tall, with spreading twigs and a grey and smooth bark. The young branches form a zigzag pattern and the leaves are dark green, oval in shape and acute at the top. The plant produces small white, solitary and very fragrant flowers and the fruit are dark green and look like small berries.
This plant is usually found in intermediate forests where localised individuals can be seen. However, very few natural regenerations of the plant can be observed in the wild.
This species is endemic to Mauritius and it is protected under local forest restoration projects. It is considered ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List due to the small population size of the species and its continuing decline as a result of habitat loss and the invasion of exotic species.
The Latin word “chryso”- means “gold,” and “phyllos” means leaves; the leaves of this species have a golden under-colour.