Juan Fernández Cabbage Tree
Native only to tiny, volcanic Robinson Crusoe Island, one of the Juan Fernández Islands in the southeast Pacific, far off the coast of Chile, and home of the famed Juania australis and many other fascinating endemic plants, this strange, small tree from the daisy and sunflower family (Asteraceae) has literally been brought back from the brink of extinction. It had been reduced to only a few individuals by feral goats on the island and is still considered critically endangered. It grows into a small, gnarled tree with several somewhat palm-like crowns of very large, round leaves on whitish leaf stalks and bright orange flowers. It is easy to cultivate and enjoys a cool, humid climate. It is hardy to light freezes and coastal conditions.