Boswellia elongata

The moon, two days to full, hanging above the crown of an old and damaged Boswellia elongata in Homhil. This is one of very few remaining trees of what was once a forest of Boswellia elongata. It is a sad state, and the future is uncertain.

The damage to the crown is from past cyclones, and will likely shorten the life span to less than the expected 100 years. In the meantime it is unable to produce the expected number of flowers and seeds, as well as being a minor source of nectar to the bees and other insects relying on the flowers.

The ground looks lush and green with grasses and various plant species, but there is not a single seedling or young Boswellia elongata growing here. The goats of Socotra eat any seedling as soon as they are found.


Elevation: 274 meters.

This is the complete list of all the 10 Boswellia species found in the Socotra Archipelago:

Boswellia ameero
Boswellia asplenifolia
Boswellia bullata
Boswellia dioscoridis
Boswellia elongata
Boswellia nana
Boswellia popoviana
Boswellia scopulorum
Boswellia socotrana

Found only on the island of Samha:
Boswellia samhaensis

In addition there are numerous hybrids and varieties that will keep botanists busy.

Read more:
The challenges in seed regeneration of the endemic Boswellia species on Socotra.

Development of a population of Boswellia elongata Balf. F. in Homhil nature sanctuary, Socotra island (Yemen)

A summary of 13 research papers spanning twenty years of biodiversity research and nature conservation in the Socotra Archipelago.

Boswellia elongata

Last updated on 14 October 2023