Jump to content
The Corroboree
Sign in to follow this  
mindperformer

Toromiro - the tree from Easter Island and other Sophoras

Recommended Posts

Sophora toromiro is a small tree which only grows on the island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Isla de Pascua), which is one of the most isolated islands, 3.526 km from the chilean coast, 4.251 km from Tahiti and 2.081 km to Pitcairn, the nearest islands. The first Polynesians settled there between the 5th and the 6th century. There is much to say about the history but this would brake the mold.

Interesting is also that the Polynesians highly probable had contact to the Inka, who made voyages into the pacific because the South American batatas were found there.

Because of the isolation, less than 30 indigenous seed plants were found, mostly spread by birds, but most important carrier of plant material were the first settlers with the species Broussonetia papyrifera, Ipomoea batatas, Dioscorea sp. and Colocasia esculenta.

Toromiro was thought to be extinct in the wild, but then 1955-56 the Norwegian archeologist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl collected seeds from the last survivor of this species. It is from Heyerdahl collection that the present European stocks of cultivated Toromiro descend.

Toromiro-seeds:

ejd5kl.jpg

Toromiro-seed-surface, 24-fold:

v3kdip.jpg

2vm8qdg.jpg

Toromiro-seed-surface, 55-fold:

34t4xlw.jpg

Edited by mindperformer
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy moly... you really do have everything! :P

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are a wealth of information MP...I look forward to reading ur threads.

Thank you for your contributions my friend.. :wink:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the tree have any ethnobotanical value ?

I was just reading (http://www.arkive.or...phora-toromiro/) that the last tree on Easter Island was found growing inside a volcano crater and it was cut down for firewood.

Another cool post from a living encyclopedia - thanks mindperformer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so... are they viable? are you gonna sprout them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hehe. Those pictures are awful similar to the NZ Kowhai. However, it looks like the Kowhai has bigger flowers. =D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks,

...that the last tree on Easter Island was found growing inside a volcano crater and it was cut down for firewood.

that's right the last from which Heyerdahl took seeds was standing in the Rano Kau- crater and later died, now there are replanting- programs, which were not really successful until now.

so... are they viable? are you gonna sprout them?

yes, they should be viable and need hot water treatment, one of them is already in the process

Hehe. Those pictures are awful similar to the NZ Kowhai. However, it looks like the Kowhai has bigger flowers. =D

the Kowhai also grows in South America and is thought to be the ancestor, at least 35.000 years ago.

Edited by mindperformer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing known about the medicinal uses of Toromiro, but it could contain the same constituents as Kowhai, which is used for weight loss, abdominal pain, sore throat, toothache, backpain, as tonic and more

...the bark and sapwood of Kowhai contains antifungal substances

Edited by mindperformer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More on Sophora species:

As qualia wrote in his thread, Sophora flavescens- root- extracts can be used as insecticide, which I've tried and can confirm

One good Bio Insecticide- product is based on extracts from Chenopodium ambrosioides, Stemona japonica and Sophora flavescens with its active constituents Matrine and Oxymatrine

It has especially good results against Thrips.

Sophora flavescens- root (ku shen) is also used in Chinese medicine and newest research shows that it is one of the few plants which can be used against reflux and dyspepsia (like turmeric), because it decreases acid secretion, additionally it acts against Staphylococcus aureus. My mum tested it against dyspepsia and it was very successful.

Also the constituents Matrine and Oxymatrine (both at 2%) act as mu- and kappa-opioid-receptor agonists and increase cholinergic activation, because of this, ku shen is a good analgesic.

Sophora subprostrata syn. S. tonkinensis (shandougen) is also used in chinese medicine, contains Matrine and Oxymatrine (both at 1%) and is also a good analgesic.

Like S. flavescens it is used in cancer therapies, against arrythmia, asthma, viral and bacterial infections and skin disorders.

Sophora subprostrata syn. tonkinensis- root, sliced:

th_383366628_Sophorasubprostratasyn.tonkinensis_Wurzel_122_228lo.JPG

The main effect of both Sophoras on the CNS is sedative in nature, effective against insomnia and as tranquilizer.

Sophora secundiflora is the famous mescal bean, which was once used by Native American tribes as a hallucinogen. It is very dangerous and contains cytisine in the red beans.

Sophora secundiflora- seed:

th_384097209_Sophorasecundiflora_SameMeskalbohne_122_456lo.JPG

Edited by mindperformer
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A selfmade Easter Island- Moai (clay from a lake, white and red chalk):

2rwkp34.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in my childhood back in vienna, we once sculptured out of snow, an easter island, snowman, it's an awsome memory for me, sorry for sidetracking.

being artistic, is a very rewarding expression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like snow- sculptures, they remind us on the perishability of all things

I always work with natural materials, clay can be found in nature, as sandstone, earth-colours and so on

...also carve pipes out of sepiolite (meerschaum) and hemp-wood

Edited by mindperformer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The newest photos from my Toromiro:

33wmpz7.jpg

2gv8tgn.jpg

2rmp15h.jpg

2w5214p.jpg

This might be philosophical, but Toromiro can be seen as the opposite from Chenopodium album and Poa annua, which are the most distributed species, scattered round the globe from the arctic to the tropics and all continents, including Africa. Chenopodium album can also be eaten, but this is another topic. As Toromiro had (and now again has, after its reintroduction) the most limited and remotest distribution, it is contrary to Poa annua and Chenopodium album. Of course there are more nearly extinct plants on remote islands, but Rapa Nui is the most remote inhabited island in the world and the tree was extinct, now there are around 80 individuals returned to the wild, from descendants grown in botanical gardens from the few seeds from the ancient last survivor, collected by Thor Heyerdahl.

Position of Rapa Nui / Easter Island / Isla de Pascua:

2vmdjf9.jpg

Edited by mindperformer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the surface of a living leaf, 24-fold:
x58i06.jpg

1j7mll.jpg

nox9op.jpg

and 55-fold:
20szvrd.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Toromiro has grown up:

11tr5ts.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

absolutely, we had nearly no rain for one month, and between 25 and 39°C here in Austria, the Toromiro is in a greenhouse with 90% humidity and temperature-controlled heatmat which turns off at 27°C. But now is also warmer inside the greenhouse because of the high summer-temperatures outside (still 15 hours sun/day).

many fruits and flowers here... ;-)

the colas look good, but they grow very slow

Edited by mindperformer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks, by the way, we had a record-heat here in Austria and the first time over 40°C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

esas semillas y esa sophora no son toromiro, los toromiros tienen pocos foliolos.

IMG_2516.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for identificational hints Roberto.

I think there is a great possibility that you are right...

I found this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4272316/

I think your displayed seeds labelled "Titze" are from the "Titze line" and cultivated for years in the nursery of Pablo Titze in Talagante, Chile, it is the most common line of allegedly Sophora toromiro in Chile.

In contrast to the "original" S. toromiro from Heyerdahl's seed-collection (now the population at the Botanical Garden Göteborg), the Titze-line seems rather different in morphology.

The Titze may be a hybrid with C. macrocarpa and C. cassiodies.

It is also the Toromiro-line wof the Instituto Forestal ((INFOR), Chile for a future reintroduction attempt.

But: My specimen never flowered, so comparison with this study is difficult.

Regarding to the leaflets I can's see similarities to Titze, so I will add a foto from my plants which is now 6 years old.

Unfortunately I'm fighting against spider mites.

 

For comparison, the original species from Göteborg: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/toromiro

DSCN6657.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

just wanted to say thank you for this thread :)

Great pictures and interesting information!

It inspired me to look for seeds of this plant.

I realized that seeds are impossible to get :(

I just found an ebay seller from chile who is offering toromiro seeds, but the seeds look a bit different than yours.

Can anyone tell from the pictures what species this is?

 

Please keep posting updates and information from time to time, thank you :->

Hope you win the fight against the spider mites!

toro1.jpg

toro2j.jpg

toro3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Day Tripper,

could be a Sophora microphylla phenotype with dark seeds like on this site: http://inetgardens.com/kowhai-culture.htm

The flowers and leaves look similar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×