Botanists from all over the world are taking note of an unprecedented phenomenon: Joshua Trees are bursting into simultaneous bloom. Typically, these rugged desert plants flower intermittently, and rarely. The current condition is now causing much speculation and concern in the scientific community. The consensus: The Joshua Tree needs to be put on the Endangered Species list, because the massive bloom is not a celebration, but rather an ecological warning.

The thorn-encased fruit of the Joshua Tree developed in symbiosis with the bear-sized Shasta sloth, a large land mammal which has been extinct for an estimated 11,000 years. The sloths were able to scoop the fruit from its rind with their impressive claws. They would then swallow the pulp whole, seeds intact, and wander, distributing the seeds far from the parent plants via their jumbo sloth-poo. Many fossilized specimens verify this fact.

Today, small rodents enjoy the fruit of the Joshua Tree, but tend to chew up the seeds, preventing germination and reducing the range of the plants. Also, incredibly, car-exhaust which is rich in nitrogen has encouraged the growth of grasses in Joshua Tree country, increasing fire-risk.

This makes The Joshua Tree an extremely fragile member of our eco-community. Please take action in honor of Earth Day to protect this species from development and building (i.e., golf courses) in their declining range. Support the placement of The Joshua Tree on the Endangered Species list. And support sustainable growing practices when you purchase aromatherapy products made from 100% USDA certified botanical essential oils.