The Pandanus Candelabrum
The plant itself is actually not that remarkable. Botanists never paid much attention to this palm tree. At least until people found out diamonds “grew” under the roots of these plants.
The Pandanus Candelabrum is also known as the diamond plant
The diamond plant
A Pandanus Candelabrum is very important to people who look for new locations for diamond mines. According to geologists, diamond hunters go nuts when they find this plant. It looks like diamonds grew under these plants, but actually it is the other way around. This plant thrives perfectly on Kimberley rock. And where is kimberlite, there are often diamonds.
Diamonds are formed at hundreds of kilometers deep and under intense heat and pressure. Sometimes a load of lava decides to surface. The lava takes surrounding rocks and layers with it. In that surrounding rock, the Kimberlite, has diamonds locked up inside it. This is how they come to the surface.
A rough diamond inside Kimberlite
It can easily be centuries ago that these eruptions happened. Or even longer for that matter. The fire of the eruption has eroded and became part of the surface. The Pandanus Candelabrum plants feel at home in a soil that is rich in magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Coincidental, the Kimberlite is very rich of these substances.
Stephen Haggerty was a mineralogist at Florida International University. He and his team made the discovery of the unlikely combination of the palm tree and the diamonds under it. He described their discovery in the Journal of Economic Geology
First known plant that unveils the presence of diamonds
There are plants that indicate the presence of certain metals and minerals in the ground. For example, plants that unveil the presence of copper. But because of Haggerty’s discovery, geologists and mineralogists found a new and easy way to find these beloved sparkling beauties, for me to polish.
More interesting diamond facts
Do you want to learn more about diamonds? Or get stunned by other interesting diamond facts? Book a Diamond Masterclass Deluxe
with Frank or one of our other master polishers. Here you learn how to polish your own diamond and keep it.