Tour to Socotra in Homhil among trees of frankincense and huge Adenium obesum

23 and 24 February 2014 

The protected area of Homhil in Socotra includes a series of hills in the north-east corner of the island, that are home to numerous incense trees of the genus Boswellia, many Adenium obesum socotranum and lot of cucumber trees. Homhil is also interesting for the beautiful landscape and for a fresh water pool where you can swim.

Cucumber tree
Along the road that connects Hadibo, the capital of Socotra, to Homhil, I can observe the first succulent plants, like this gorgeous specimen of Dendrosicyos socotranus also known as cucumber tree.
Incense tree Incense trees

The protected area of Homhil in Socotra is known to host a mini-forest of incense trees: in these photos, many Boswellia elongata from which the incense resin can be collected.
Boswellia trees
The forest of frankincense trees (Boswellia elongata) observer from an hill. Boswellia elongata is endemic to the island of Socotra and is classified by the IUCN as "vulnerable" because of the limited distribution area and the declining population in nature.
Boswellia elongata Incense
The incense tree (so all the plants belonging to the genus Boswellia growing in Socotra) are, as already mentioned, exploited for the collection of incense that is used almost exclusively by the local population.
Young cucumber tree
Trekking in Homhil, I continue to find more succulent plants, like this young specimen of Dendrosicyos socotranus (cucumber tree) that seems to grow in a really difficult place, without any soil.
Photos of Homhil. This protected area, which is located in the northeastern part of Socotra island, is home to thousands of Adenium obesum socotranum, Dracena cinnabari, Euphorbia arbuscula and Dendrosicyos socotranus (cucumber tree), only to mention a few examples.
Socotra island
Pictures of Adenium obesum socotranum and Dracena cinnabari.
An Adenium obesum socotranum having a particularly "fat" stem.
Adenium obesum socotranum
Adenium obesum in Socotra Pictures of Adenium obesum socotranum having a particularly bizarre shape. The Adenium obesum is a succulent caudiciform plant, thus able to accumulate liquids in the stem for use during periods of drought. As previously explained, the Adenium obesum is also found in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, but only in Socotra it reaches so big sizes, so, for this reason, it is classified as Adenium obesum socotranum.
Adenium obesum
OK .... but where is the nose?
Kalanchoe farinacea

In Homhil I can observe also numerous Kalanchoe farinacea which produce a beautiful red flower (it is a succulent plant belonging to the family of Crassulaceae).
Flower of Adenium
A beautiful flower Adenium obesum.

Often the Adenium obesum grow along with Dracena cinnabari, creating a sort of forest.
Dracena cinnabar
A beautiful Dracena cinnabari.
Homhil in Socotra
Photo of Adenium obesum and Dracena cinnabari.
The rich population of Adenium obesum socotranum growing in Homhil, Socotra.
Even more pictures of Adenium obesum taken along the various hiking trails present at Homhil.
Euphorbia arbuscula
A beautiful Euphorbia arbuscula.

Adenium obesum socotranum and Dracena cinnabari. Homhil in Socotra is a paradise for botanists.
A beautiful Euphorbia spiralis grows at the foot of an Adenium obesum.
Cucumber trees
Picture of the cucumber tree (Dendrosicyos socotranus)
Trekking in Homhil
A short trek from the shelter in Homhil, along the bed of an apparently dry river, will soon reveal a nice surprise ...
Natural pool in Socotra
Fresh water crab

... a nice emerald green natural pool, fed by several small streams where freshwater crabs live in.
The natural swimming pool in Homhil Socotra.
Succulent plants in Socotra Socotra succulent plants
Aloe Euphorbia
Around the shores of the natural pool in Homhil, there are many cucumber trees, Adenium obesum, Aloe and Euphorbia spiralis, just to mention a few examples.
An Euphorbia spiralis grows under the protection of a caudex of an Adenium obesum socotranum.
The natural pool of Homhil seen from an hill behind.
A beautiful view over the valley below Homhil
With an easy trek of just an hour, I descend the hill to its base, where I will meet the 4x4 car ready to get to the next destination in Socotra.

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