Socotra Nature


While the people help make Socotra a haven in a hostile world, the island is also a natural wonderland. From the aqua lagoon at Qalansiya to the snow-white dunes at Rass Momi, from the alpine meadows of the Haggier Mountains to the desolation of Nowgad, Socotra is a land of surprising contrasts. Rising to over 1600 meters, the Haggier Mountains loom over Hadibo, Socotra's administrative capital.

The red granite of the peaks has been stained a ghostly grey by the lichens, which grow thickly above tree line. Perennial streams radiate from the misty heights, green ribbons of life teaming with endemic fish and freshwater crabs. Limestone plateaus fan east and west, providing alkaline soils for the iconic Dragon's Blood Tree.

Bottle trees grow in such profusion that entire hillsides turn pink following winter rains. Cucumber trees, statuesque relative of the melon, provide fodder for starving animals during times of drought.


FLORA

Socotra is home to more than 900 species of plants, some 300 of which are endemic to the island, and there are certainly many more plant species that have yet to be discovered.


For example, Dr. Tony Miller of the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh recently collected the first known specimens of a tiny carnivorous plant, which grows on moist tree One of the most famous Botanical curiosities of Socotra is the Dragon's tree, the tree is so named because any injury to the bark results in a deep red liquid excreting from the scar – compared in the past to the "Blood of Dragons".