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A plant dedicated to Leonardo DiCaprio – RB

A plant dedicated to Leonardo DiCaprio – RB

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A plant dedicated to Leonardo DiCaprio – RB

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A plant dedicated to Leonardo DiCaprio – RB

SCIENCE

It was discovered in Cameroon and bears the name of DiCaprio: the new species dedicated to the actor’s commitment, which helped save the Ebo forest from deforestation

January 8 2022

The first new species described in 2022 is an evergreen native to the tropical rainforest of Ebo, Cameroon, and bears the name of Leonardo DiCaprio .

It was baptized by the scientists Uvariopsis dicaprio in honor of the actor, who in August 2020 became the spokesperson for an important campaign to protect the Ebo forest.

The new species

The Uvariopsis dicaprio is a tropical evergreen tree that lives in the forest of Ebo, in Cameroon . Martin Cheek of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Great Britain and his colleagues from the University of Cameroon, observing some photos and some specimens of the plant, were able to determine that it is a species never described before.

And not only that: apparently, despite the fact that it is certainly not a small plant or that goes unnoticed, not even the local community seemed to know the Evariopsis dicaprio, which was thus described for the first time and included among the new species.

It is a plant that can be up to 4 meters high , and which can be recognized by the ” characteristic flowers of a vibrant and shiny yellow-green color “that are produced by the trunk.

The new plant has leaves which, according to paper published by PeerJ , “exceed 15 centimeters long, cauliflorous flowers (i.e. that arise from the trunk) with pedicels exceeding the length of 01 millimeters and free petals “.

Less than have been identified so far specimens of Uvariopsis dicaprio , which appear to be confined within the Ebo forest , the only habitat of the new species – which therefore ends directly among those with high risk of extinction .

As for the discovery, Cheek states that it is a spectacular plant: “it is a plant that, if you are a botanist, literally jumps on you”. Now that we know what to call it, we can start defending it: “only when we know that a species exists,” says Cheek, ” can we do something to protect it “.

And here the name of DiCaprio begins to have its meaning, throughout this story.

Leonardo DiCaprio for the forest of Ebo

We now know quite well Leonardo DiCaprio’s commitment in defense of the planet: the actor’s activist life officially begins with the creation of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation , which deals from 1998 the promotion of ecology and environmental awareness.

In the 2019 founds the Earth Alliance , which deals even more closely with climate change. Fundraising, petitions, millionaire donations to protect the burning forests and documentary films are just some of the actions implemented by the protagonist of “Don’t look up”.

When in August of 2020 a large collection of signatures was launched to protect the incredible heritage of biodiversity preserved in the Ebo forest, Leonardo DiCaprio was at the forefront of the battle in defense of Ebo. The government of Cameroon had just gazetted a grant of over 130 thousand hectares of forest intended for deforestation for the wood and construction industry , and the collection of signatures seemed to be struggling to take off.

Then, on August 4, Leonardo DiCaprio and Instagram changed – at least in part – the course of history: a short video showing the wonders of Ebo, from elephants to chimpanzees that are incredibly numerous here, in a few days brought the petition to almost reach 200 thousand signatures. On 10 August, only a few days later, the Cameroon government finally suspended Ebo’s deforestation programs.

Cheek and colleagues thus decided to dedicate the new species to DiCaprio : a decision that has the deep roots of the commitment in defense of biodiversity and the planet’s natural heritage .