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Rare Plant Pinpoints Exact Location of Diamonds

posted: 05/06/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
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Diamond prospecting just got a whole lot easier.

Florida International University researcher Stephen Haggerty has discovered a rare plant that grows exclusively over equally rare kimberlite pipes, the chutes that bring diamonds from Earth's mantle to the surface. His findings are published in the latest edition of Economic Geology.

The plant, Pandanus candelabrum, could revolutionize diamond prospecting in areas with dense vegetation. It grows to a height of 30 feet and sports palm-like fronds that make it easily identifiable against jungle flora.

Haggerty suspects that the plant can only thrive in the nutrient-rich kimberlite soil. "It sounds like a very good fertilizer, which it is," he told Science Magazine.

Click here for more information from Science Magazine

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