The Pure Nacional tree is an ancient cacao tree species that resides in Marañón Canyon in Northern Peru. The ancient cacao tree produces some of the world’s rarest cacao. Due to a disease that spread in the forests of Ecuador, where the tree was cultivated, experts declared the Pure Nacional tree extinct. But it seems that the tree wasn’t lost forever. Dan Pearson and his stepson Brian Horsley discovered a Pure Nacional tree in 2007, as BBC detailed:
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In 2007, two Americans, Dan Pearson and his stepson Brian Horsley, were supplying gear and food to mining companies around the Marañón Canyon in northern Peru near the Ecuador border when they happened upon a strange-looking tree that had football-sized pods growing out of its trunk. Perplexed and unsure what they were looking at, Pearson and Horsley sent several samples to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to get some answers. To everyone’s amazement, the samples were confirmed to belong to the Pure Nacional tree.
image credit: Phil Crean nature / Alamy via BBC