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.
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.
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.
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
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".