An endangered tree was found inside the Ariquemes Botanical Park (RO), 200 kilometers from Porto Velho. Known for producing the largest dicotyledonous leaf in the world, up to 2.5 meters long, it is the species Coccoloba (Polygonaceae)
According to Vilmar Ferreira, the park’s engineer, the tree was discovered about two months ago. “They took me a big leaf and I amazed. Then I found it to be Coccoloba, an endemic and endangered species, ”he says.
The tree found in Ariquemes has only one stem and can reach 13 meters in height. The leaves are at the top. In the adult phase each leaf reaches 2.5 meters in length and 1.40m in width. The Guinness Book considers the leaf of this species as the largest world.
According to the engineer, this is the only tree of its kind found in the Ariquemes reserve.
He believes that Coccoloba from the Botanical Park sprouted after being mistakenly cut a few years ago during the park’s revitalization, when the ecological trails were opened and Coccoloba was still a ‘cub’.
The location of the tree will be marked and identified. Coccoloba is expected to become one of the attractions for the park’s tourists.
Where to locate Coccoloba in the park?
To get to the rare tree in the Ariquemes botanical park, the park management says that the tourist must take the wooden trail near the bridge and then follow the dirt trail. The tree is near the park creek.
The city’s botanical park has 12 hectares of preserved area and attracts about 1,000 visitors a day.
Search for the giant leaves
This is not the first time Coccoloba has been found in Rondônia. In 1993, researchers from the National Institute for Amazonian Research (Inpa) and Ibama conducted an excursion to the Flona do Jamari, where two leaves were collected from a single species, respectively measuring 2.50 mx 1.44 m 2, 10 mx 1.32 m.
These samples are currently registered and cataloged in the Inpa collection.