Now Growing in a Single Forest: the DiCaprio Tree

Scientists thank the actor by naming a tree after him in Cameroon
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2022 1:50 PM CST
Now Growing in a Single Forest: the Dicaprio Tree
Leonardo DiCaprio attends the world premiere of "Don't Look Up" at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

It's not as shiny as an Oscar, but it's "spectacular" to look at nonetheless, says a scientist at the UK's Royal Botanic Gardens. Dr. Martin Cheek is referring to the newly named tree Uvariopsis dicaprio, which is known to grow in just a single forest, reports New Scientist. As the name suggests, the tree is named after Leonardo DiCaprio as a thank-you for his efforts in saving the Ebo Forest in Cameroon, per the BBC. "We think he was crucial in helping to stop the logging" there, says Cheek. DiCaprio, a longtime champion of environmental causes, promoted an online petition to his millions of followers.

Amid the international pressure, the Cameroon government shelved logging plans for the Ebo, which is renowned for its biodiversity. As the for tree, it's an evergreen that grows to a height of about 13 feet and has glossy, yellowish flowers that grow from the trunk. “This is a plant which, for a botanist, just jumps out at you,” says Cheek. (Both the BBC and New Scientist links have photos.) Only about 50 of the trees are known to exist, and they grow in one small part of the Ebo that is currently unprotected. (More Leonardo DiCaprio stories.)

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