The Damoura is a slothful growing flower native to the Silhouette Islands, off the coast of West Africa. When not in bloom, the Damoura, extending from the ground, stands at 4 feet tall and has the resemblance of a dehydrated brittle tree branch. Every 6 months the Damoura turns a lively green and blooms a crimson ball like structure of petals on the tip of its stem. These petals are used by the indigenous tribes of Silhouette to enhance their lung capacity by 30% so that they’re able to breathe underwater. This enables their ability to hunt the JarJar fish which is found in the deepest parts of the ocean. Since the Damoura only blooms once every 6 months, it is important for the tribes to be able to hunt the JarJar because it has enough meat to feed a family of 6 for that duration of time.

The discovery of the flowers exquisite benefits were an accident. In 1976, when studying the Mundula tribe, U.S. Anthropologist, Jean St. Claire was told by members, due to their pleasantly sweet taste, the petals were originally only used to make tea. One day, while a few of the men were spear fishing, they realized they could breathe longer under water after the teas consumption. Amazed by this discovery, St. Claire extracted the plant in order to bring it back to the United States to find ways to produce more. Unfortunately, upon its removal, he quickly found out the Damoura dies once it’s departed from the fortified soil of the Silhouette islands. 

By: Rae Girman