Daisy tree (Scalesia villosa)

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Daisy tree in flower
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Daisy tree fact file

Daisy tree description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderAsterales
FamilyCompositae
GenusScalesia (1)

The unique daisy trees of the Galapagos Islands are the plant equivalents of Darwin’s finches (2). Despite the name daisy tree, this particular species tends to occur as a shrubby bush (1) (2).

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Daisy tree biology

Little is known of the biology of this species.

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Daisy tree range

This species of daisy tree is endemic to the island of Floreana and the nearby islets of Champion, Enderby, Caldwell and Gardner-near-Floreana in the Galapagos archipelago (1). On Floreana, the plant occurs in a number of coastal locations (2).

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Daisy tree habitat

Found in the lowland arid zone of the islands on which it occurs (2).

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Daisy tree status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU D2) on the IUCN Red List 2003 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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Daisy tree threats

On Floreana, this daisy tree is threatened by goat grazing (1). Because of its small range, this species is inherently vulnerable to environmental changes, for example the introduction of a new insect pest or a disease (3).

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Daisy tree conservation

The Botany Department of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is carrying out research and surveying the daisy trees of the Galapagos (3). Significant steps forward have been made in methods of eradicating or controlling goats and invasive introduced plant species (3). The CDRS has also proposed that monitoring is required, to keep track of endemic plant populations, allowing changes to be detected. Biological studies of the plants are also required, so that the threats affecting the species can be identified and better understood (3).

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Find out more

For more on the conservation of the endemic plants of the Galapagos see:

Botany Department, Charles Darwin Research Foundation (2003) Plant Research for Conservation in Galapagos, Report for the Years 1998-2003 and Challenges For The Future:
http://www.darwinfoundation.org/english/_upload/botany1997-2003.pdf

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003 (March, 2004)
    http://www.redlist.org
  2. Tye, A. (2001) Galapagos daisy trees – plants: out of the shadows. World Conservation, 3: 16 - 17.
  3. Tye, A. (2003) Plant Research for Conservation in Galapagos, Report for the Years 1998-2003 and Challenges For The Future. Botany Department, Charles Darwin Research Foundation, Ecuador.
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Image credit

Daisy tree in flower  
Daisy tree in flower

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