Leonardo DiCaprio Gets A Tree Species Named After Him (Sadly NOT Called 'Treeonardo DiCaprio')

Leonardo DiCaprio is a man of many talents. He's an award-winning performer, an international heartthrob, an outspoken environmentalist, and now, a tree. 

According to a newly published from PeerJ, scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew, London have officially named a tree species in Africa's Cameroon forest "Uvariopsis dicaprio," in honor of the Hollywood actor. The tree is a member of the ylang-ylang family of small tropical evergreen trees and has been reported as "critically endangered." Dr. Martin Cheek of Kew told the BBC that scientists chose to honor the Oscar-winner because they believe DiCaprio was crucial in helping to stop logging in the Ebo Forest. Check out a photo of the Leo tree below.

In case you aren't following Leonardo DiCaprio on Instagram, he has completely dedicated his social media presence on the platform to encourage conservation, environmentalism, and social justice efforts. He currently boasts 51.7 million followers who every day are given info-graphics, videos, and calls to action for his philanthropic efforts. He seldom even promotes his own work on Instagram, with his posts about his new release "Don't Look Up" highlighting the film's message to listen to scientists, rather than outright promoting the film. DiCaprio's social media account makes him one of the most popular celebrity environmental activists, and scientists genuinely believe his advocacy against opening up the Ebo Forest for logging has made a genuine impact. The Leo tree is also the first plant new to science to be officially named by Kew scientists so far in 2022.

Art Imitating Life with Don't Look Up

The tree naming — which went in a different direction than our preferred name, "Treeonardo DiCaprio" — is happening right as Leo's environmentalist satire apocalypse film "Don't Look Up" is sweeping the globe. DiCaprio had been actively seeking out a film with a message of conservation at its core for many years, and found the script to be one that resonates with his values of listening to scientists, spreading the word about taking care of the environment, and holding systemic structures accountable for prioritizing profits over protecting the planet.

A few days ago, DiCaprio took to Twitter to talk about "Don't Look Up," again prioritizing the film's message rather than giving an empty promotion. "Years ago, scientists predicted the damaging effects of climate change that we're now experiencing. We must listen to scientists and take the necessary steps to mitigate the crisis," DiCaprio said.

Honestly, there's no celebrity who deserves the distinction more than Leonardo DiCaprio, quite possibly the only person who could reclaim the "tree-hugger" stereotype and get people more active in environmental advocacy. Good on you, Leo.