Mystical Jellyfish Tree

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The Critically Endangered and very rare Jellyfish tree is an an endemic of Seychelles, found scattered only on the exposed granite slopes of Mahe. It was thought to be extinct until a few individuals were discovered in the 1970s. The tree is now found in only three sites on Mahe, which are within the protection of the Morne Seychellois National Park.

Jellyfish Tree Seychelles Mystical Jellyfish Tree

The gynoecium  of the flower resembles the tentacles  of a jellyfish, hence the common and generic names of the plant. Its scientific name Medusagyne oppositifolia, is thought to relate to ‘Medusa’ the goddess of Greek mythology who had a head of snakes.

Jellyfish tree Medusa Mystical Jellyfish Tree

The jellyfish tree presents another conundrum.

Jellyfish Tree Fruit Mystical Jellyfish Tree

Seeds can only grow in habitats with low humidity and yet it’s natural habitat is very humid. It has been suggested that jellyfish trees have been lost from the more appropriate habitat of moist forests through competition with other species and climate change. So we can not blame human kind for everything, sometimes is just evolution.

Jellyfish Tree Mystical Jellyfish Tree
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