2021-05-21

Giant Groundsel

Dendrosenecio kilimanjari is a giant groundsel found only in Kilimanjaro. These rare plants live in the central highlands of Shira Plateau and Barranco Camp.  Dendrosenecio Kilimanjari grows slowly but can reach a height of 20 meters. Dendrosenecio is a type of flowering plant in the sunflower family. Giant groundsels, found in the highlands of ten mountain groups in equatorial East Africa, where they form a visible floral object.

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Dendrosenecio Kilimanjari Plant

As the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro itself stands out from the crowd. But as a free standing mountain with a climate that is becoming more and more like a low-lying country as it rises steadily, Kilimanjaro is most notable for a combination of isolated, modified, or rare species that are not found elsewhere. One of the most impressive of these species is the giant groundsel varietal Dendrosenecio kilimanjari. Something like a cross between a burnt cactus and a pineapple, these exotic plants can only be found in Kilimanjaro, and more than 14,000ish (related, but different varieties of giant groundsel "can only be found" in a few East African mountains).
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Dendrosenecio Kilimanjari prehistoric plants in the Jurassic period


In order to reflect the presence in a less favorable environment - that at the top of the mountain, temperatures often drop below freezing overnight - the plants change the water retention in the stem area, the movement of the nyctinastic leaves (meaning the leaves close when the temperature drops) "natural, and self-sustaining in the form of withered and dead leaves (part of the reason why groundsels look weird).

Evolution is the name of a game of big fish, in Kilimanjaro and other mountains in East Africa. None of these species are exactly the same, but it is estimated that they all originated in common soils about a million years ago, climbing up and down the slopes through a slow process of air seed distribution (which can move plants no more than a few meters at a time).

Typical groundsels are similar to the one pictured above ranging from 4 to 16 "in height. On the other hand, large groundsels, which grow to more than 3 meter in height, sometimes up to 6 feet or more!

Looks like it: the tallest mountain in the world has the longest mutant weed!

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