Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is quite an attractive place for scientists as well as explorers. When climbing this mountain, its climate as well as its landscape will gradually change and become very different from the foothills. You will also easily come across rare or mutant plants that are hardly found anywhere else.
One of the most striking is the giant grass Kilimanjaro (Dendrosenecio kilimanjari), a prehistoric plant that evolved about a million years ago and looks like a hybrid of a cactus. burned and pineapple.
Dendrosenecio kilimanjari grows only on Mount Kilimanjaro, at an altitude of 14,000-16,000 feet (4300-5000 meters), where the average temperature is below zero degrees Celsius.
These trees grow slowly but can reach a height of 30 feet (9 meters).
Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest independent mountain in the world (5895 m above sea level). Kilimanjaro is part of Kilimanjaro National Park and is a very famous climbing spot in the world.
The first Europeans reached the upper part of Kilimanjaro in the second half of the 19th century. As they walked through the dense forest, they were amazed to discover these strange groves.
Dendrosenecio kilimanjari was first described by HHJohnston in 1884. This tree grows to 10 m tall, it forms a woody trunk (up to 40 cm in diameter) with large asterisk leaves on top. These stems branch after flowering and over time grow similar to giant candles. Mature trees can have up to 80 branches.
As the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro has a quite special climate, so it has many rare “mutant” plants that are hardly found anywhere else on Earth. One of the most prominent of them is Dendrosenecio kilimanjari. This exotic plant resembles a hybrid between a cactus and a pineapple. However, Dendrosenecio kilimanjari is classified as a flowering plant in the daisy family.
This strange plant is a member of the dandelion family, and scientists think they evolved from a common plant about 1 million years ago. It is possible that they were originally a plant that formed underground, but over time their seeds were gradually carried up the high mountains and eventually turned into a new species.
To survive in such a harsh environment, where temperatures frequently drop below freezing, these giant trees have evolved the ability to store water in their trunks, with leaves that close when it’s too hot. cold.
Besides being naturally “freeze-resistant”, these plants also possess the ability to insulate themselves through withering and dying foliage (which is part of why they look so unusual).
This tree grows to 10m tall, it forms a woody trunk (about 40 cm in diameter) with large asterisk-shaped leaves on top. These stems branch after flowering and over time grow similar to giant candles. To survive on such alpine terrain with super-cold temperatures at night, plants have evolved to store water in their stems and leaves to fold when the temperature drops.
Mount Kilimanjaro began to form about 3 million years ago, and the last major eruptions took place about 350,000 years ago. This is a long enough time for the development of species unique to this isolated mountain.
The incredible Dendrosenecio forest near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro belongs to the most unusual forests in the world. The breathtaking landscape here is dotted with alien-looking plants – giant trees and poplars.
Kilimanjaro with its three cones, Kibo, Mawensi and Shira, is an inactive stratovolcano in northeastern Tanzania. Although not the tallest mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro is the tallest standing mountain in the world and the tallest mountain in Africa.
Dubbed the island in the sky, Kilimanjaro has a huge biodiversity with endemic species including Dendrosenecio species and other flora adapted to living in alpine conditions.
Source: Grunge; phys.org; USGS