Boswellia nana

Boswellia nana is found in few and isolated areas where they are heavily browsed by the goats. I have not found a single specimen growing to its full potential. During the dry months, when the foliage is dropped, they are very difficult to spot, as the trunk and stunted branches are covered with lichens and have the same color as the limestone on which they grow – perfectly camouflaged.

22 October 2023 cyclone Tej hit Socotra, and with it extreme amounts of rain inundated every corner of the island. Almost two months later I am met with a green island where every species of plant is thriving and growing to their potential. The boswellias are no exception, all with shoots and fresh foliage, some species, like the Boswellia scopulorum, with flowers! I found no flowers or seeds on any of the boswellia nana I encountered.

There are at least 9 species of Boswellia on Socotra, and they are all endemic.

Elevation: 579 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.

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

Boswellia nana

Last updated on 23 February 2024