Known as the Bois Dentelle or Elaeocarpus Bojeri, it is a beautiful flowering tree known for its sprays of long white, bell-shaped flowers. It is from the delicate patterns of the flowers that the tree gets its common name: Bois Dentelle or “Lace Wood.” The Bois Dentelle trees are found high in the cloud forest of the island of Mauritius on a hill called the Piton Grand Bassin… and that is the only place they are found, because there are only two of them left in nature.
The tree has come so close to extinction, not because it is commercially viable, but because it isn’t. The tree’s environment is being overrun by more commercially attractive alien species such as Guava and a small evergreen shrub Litsea monopetala. The last two of these trees would also have disappeared forever, taking with them the secrets locked in their genetics, if it hadn’t been for intervention.
Since the Ministry of Agriculture and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation stepped in they have been able to save the two remaining trees and successfully made two offspring in a tree nursery from the seeds of these trees.