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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pot sam zacot

Common Name: Pot sam zacot
Scientific Name: Tambourissa quadrifida
Conservation Status: Not assessed

One of 10 endemic Tambourissa species in the country. This species is a striking tree, with cauliflorus flowers coming straight out of the trunk. The male flowers look like small red starfish covered in white paint marks. The female flowers look like a small wooden bell that takes the form of a small pot when it turns into a fruit. The fruit gives the tree its common name of ‘monkey’s chamber pot’ (pot sam zacot). When ripe the walls of the chamber pot open disgorging black seeds covered in bright orange flesh.

Why is this species important?
This species has no commercial value or local use.

Where is it found?
This species is endemic to Mauritius and is found in lowland coastal forest.

Why is it threatened? There probably about 100 individuals of this species. Lowland coastal forest is one of the most threatened forest types in Mauritius. Most individuals of this species are found in a privately owned forest where there are few laws to protect the plants.

What conservation action is being carried out?
None to date.


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