Argan Tree – Curiosity Of Nature


Where Argan Tree comes from?

Argan trees (botanical name Argania spinosa) are amazing trees that grow almost exclusively in the in the southwest part of Morocco, region of Agadir, the Atlas Mountains and the Souss-Massa-Draa Region. They are well-known for theirs health and beauty properties and great biological value.

Word argan comes from the Berber language. It means “to remain locked up” – in a limited space – and derives from local word ‘arjân’.

Argan trees, sometimes known as the tree of life or the ironwood tree, are endemic to Morocco and have grown there for possibly 80 million years (relict of the tertiary era), can live up to 200 years and requires no cultivation.

Is estimated that there is more than 2 million argan trees that covers about 800,000 ha.


Why Is Argan Tree Important?

What enable argan trees to thrive in harsh desert condition and arid soil are very deep roots that help absorb water necessary for its life.

Argan trees are important for local ecology for preventing desertification. Strong roots system retain the soil and slows down wind and water erosion.

Once covered the entire region of North Africa, due to overgrazing and being cut down for fire wood by the local communities, is now endangered and since 1998 protected as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Although Argan Oil has acquired tremendous international fame only recently, the Berberes have used argan tree for centuries. Local population use every part of the argan tree, from the crown to the roots: the fruits – for extracting the oil, the nut shells – as fuel for fires, fruit pulp – as an animal feed, the leaves – eaten on the tree by goats, the wood – for construction and as firewood.

The life of the Berber people is merged with usage of argan trees – from infants to adults.


The Famous Tree of Morocco

Another amazing thing about argan trees is that they are one of the tourist attraction of Morocco. Twisted trunk of the argan tree allows goats to climb on the top of trees in search for the highly nutritious fruits and leaves.

The Argan tree is also the focus for socio-economic development in the area, as it is said that approximately 3 million people are involved in argan oil production. Argan Oil is extracting only by women. Hence, oil production is improving the status of Moroccan rural women, it’s giving jobs, bringing income to the family and making women more aware of their rights.

The urgent goal of women cooperatives for now is the preservation and protection of fast vanishing precious argan forest.