TREES OF MOROCCO
Morocco is characterized by many tree species.
The argan tree is endemic in Morocco; its name comes from the Berber “argan” which designates either the species or the oil extracted from it. It is mainly found in the Souss and on the edge of the Sahara, in the Draâ region. Today, Argan oil is widely used for culinary and cosmetic purposes.
Tuya is also an almost endemic tree of the Atlas, more precisely of the Souss Massa region. It grows in semi-arid areas, both on plains and in medium-sized mountainous terrain; its dark red speckled wood with a characteristic smell is highly prized by craftsmen and cabinetmakers who make boxes, trays or furniture from it.
The olive tree, the Mediterranean chief symbol tree can be found throughout Morocco, but more particularly in the Anti-Atlas; its uses and benefits are multiple; olives and their oil are the basis of Moroccan cuisine. Its wood also has exceptional calorific properties.
The date palm is a plant with a hollow trunk that needs water, warmth and sun to grow. It has been cultivated for 4,000 years before our era. There are 4.5 million date palms in Morocco, two thirds of which are concentrated in the regions of Ouarzazate and Errachidia.
The cedar tree is also prevalent in Morocco, almost as much as it is in Lebanon. While Morocco has the main cedar grove in the Mediterranean basin (134,000 hectares) mainly in the Middle and High Atlas, this national treasure is threatened by climate change and human-induced environmental stress. A comprehensive preservation plan is being implemented to protect it.