Rare African plant points the way to diamonds

Pandanus candelabrum’s role as a diamond spotter may sound unlikely, but this sort of indicator species has been known about for centuries. For example, the small Alpine plant Lychnis alpina has distinctive pink flowers and has been used since medieval times to find sources of copper. Modern analysis has since discovered that the species is genetically resistant to the metal, allowing it to thrive in soil where the presence of copper ore keeps other plants away.

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