Self Destructing Palm Tree Found In Madagascar

Tahina spectabilisA couple on a casual stroll in Madagascar recently discovered a new gigantic palm that flowers itself to death.

Taller than a six-story building, with a trunk 1.5 feet (0.5 meter) in diameter, it is the most massive palm discovered to date in Madagascar.

After the plant has rocketed to its full height, a vast candelabra-like structure of flowers develops above its leaves.

The structure produces hundreds of thousands of flowers, which drip with nectar when they are open.

Once pollinated, each flower turns into a fruit. The palm's nutrient reserves then become depleted, the crown collapses, and the tree dies a prolonged death.

The palm is dubbed Tahina spectabilis—in the local language, Malagasy, spectabilis means "blessed" or "to be protected." It's the only known palm in a genus new to science, the researchers say.

Source: National Geographic
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