Toromiro (Sophora toromiro) is a species of tree formerly common in the forests of Easter Island. The toromiro fell victim to the deforestation that eliminated the island's forests by the first half of the 17th century (Orliac 2005), and it later became extinct in the wild. The tree is being reintroduced to the island in a scientific project partly led jointly by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Goteborg Botanical Garden, where the only remaining plants of this species with a documented origin were propagated in the 1960s from seeds collected from a single tree by Thor Heyerdahl. It is sometimes claimed that all toromiro trees are derived from this single individual, but research has determined that at least one other tree's descendants survive .
Local tradition has it that the rongorongo tablets of Easter Island are made of toromiro. However, all tablets of native wood tested by modern methods have turned out to be Thespesia populnea (Orliac 2005).
Image of toromiro flowers
Maunder, M et al. (2000): Conservation of the Toromiro Tree: Case Study in the Management of a Plant Extinct in the Wild. Conservation Biology 14(5): 1341–1350.
Orliac, Catherine. 2005. "The Rongorongo Tablets from Easter Island: Botanical Identification and 14C Dating." Archaeology in Oceania 40.3.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Toromiro