Common Name: Bois dentelle
Scientific Name: Elaeocarpus bojeri
Bois dentelle is a beautiful tree, found in high cloud forest on the island of Mauritius. The most remarkable thing about the species are the flowers – sprays of white bell flowers with fine lacy petals that cover the tree in summer (January –March).
A relative of Elaeocarpus serratus (bois d’olive) , a native of India that is planted commercially for the fruits. The flesh of the fruits are used to make pickles.
Why is this species important?
The species has no commercial value.
Where is it found?
This species is endemic to Mauritius, found in cloud forest. Only two individuals are left.
Why is it threatened?
The remaining area of cloud forest in Mauritius is highly degraded due to invasive alien species. The last site known for this tree is a small hill (Piton Grand Bassin) that is found in the middle of an important religious area for Hindus. The hill is heavily invaded by guava (Psidium cattleianum) and Litsea monopetala.
What conservation action is being carried out?
The government and NGOs are working together to save this species from extinction. One of the trees has been transplanted to a government nursery and seeds are collected from this. There are 2 offspring of this tree in collections, and a recent grafting attempt of this species onto E. serratus through collaboration between the Division of Horticulture (Ministry of Agriculture) and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, has proved successful. This allows for more availability of material for propagation by cuttings.
The Chair, National Threatened Plants Technical Committee, National Parks and Conservation Service, Ministry of Agriculture, FT & NR, Réduit, Mauritius
Bosser, J., Cadet, Th., Julien, H.R. and Marais, W. 1976. Flore des Mascareignes. The Sugar Research Institute, Mauritius, ORSTOM, Paris, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Strahm, W.A. 1993. The conservation and restoration of the flora of Mauritius and Rodrigues. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis (2 vols.), Reading University, UK.
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