Scientists Name New Tree After Leonardo DiCaprio

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Researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the United Kingdom have discovered and named a newly-discovered tree species in Cameroon after actor and long-time environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2020, DiCaprio campaigned to further protect the Cameroonian Highlands forests, which are only 6.9 percent protected.

“We think he was crucial in helping to stop the logging of the Ebo Forest,” Dr. Martin Cheek of Kew told the BBC. The tree, which has been given the official name of uvariopsis dicaprio and grows only in the Central African country, is the first plant new to science to be officially named by Kew scientists in 2022, through publication in the scientific journal PeerJ.

The tree bearing the actor’s name is described as a small tropical evergreen with glossy yellow fingers around its trunk. Its current status is critically endangered.

As for his day job, DiCaprio was recently cast at religious cult leader Jim Jones in an upcoming movie that traces the story of the Jonestown suicide event in November 1978. His most recent film, Netflix’s environmental satire Don’t Look Up hit the streaming service in December 2021, but has already broken viewership records to the tune of more than 150 million hours watched globally in its first week. DiCaprio also will star opposite Robert DeNiro and Jesse Plemons in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon for Apple TV+.

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