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The Tree That Bleeds Metal (Pycnandra acuminata)

Trees can be fascinating and can adapt to pretty much any environment, including freezing temperatures. But sometimes, these adaptations can be seen by the naked eye and can be interesting to learn about. So let's look at the science of this tree in particular.

Physical Description and Behavior

This tree is a rainforest shrub and is one of about 75 other trees that were recently discovered to be hyperaccumulators. What does this mean? Well, this term is used in this case to the accumulation of Nickle in these plants.

While plants need a small amount of Nickle to survive, too much of it is generally seen as toxic. However, these shrubs have about 25% Nickle as dry weight. This is so high that the metal seeps out in the form of a bluish-green sap. Many experts feel that this might be a good way to extract the metal from this plant without harming the overall environment in the process.

Aside from this, there does not seem to be much information at all about this species, other than the fact that it can grow fairly tall with a whitish bark.

Habitat and location

This shrub can be found in the southern and northern parts of New Caledonia's Grande Terre, as well as all along the east coast where the soils are heavy in Nickle. Often in dense humid forests. The population size of this species is not yet known.

It is considered to be of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List, but global warming may be one of the biggest threats. As well as mining in the area for precious metals.

Check out this video to learn more about this metal-oozing tree

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