Tucked away in a corner of London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, there is a very peculiar plant. At first glance, it resembles a stumpy palm tree, but this ancient specimen is incredibly rare. It is, in fact, the very last of its kind on Earth. Encephalartos woodii is a cycad, a type of plant that once dominated the planet during the Jurassic Period. Over the millennia, the age of the cycad came to an end. And in the case of Encephalartos Woodii, we may have been left with only one—a single male specimen. This tree is the loneliest bachelor on Earth.
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This story is a part of our Planet Earth series. From mammals to insects and birds to reptiles, we share this great big world with all manner of creatures, large and small. Come with us to faraway places as we explore our great big planet and meet some of its wildest inhabitants.
Great Big Story is a video network dedicated to the untold, overlooked & flat-out amazing. Humans are capable of incredible things & we’re here to tell their stories. When a rocket lands in your backyard, you get in.