Evergreen tree up to 25m tall. Crown spherical. Bark grey with black striations. Leaves copiously hairy and fuzzy; bright pink, red, orange or pale yellow; scent of sweet butterfly milk. Flowers form in dense panicles that develop into bunches of purple berries. Seeds ovoid with distinct swirl pattern.

Where it grows

Before being harvested to extinction, the truffula was endemic to (ie only found in) Truffula Valley. It grew under the watchful eye of the Lorax, the guardian of the forest who speaks for the trees.

Common uses

Owing to the touch of its tuft, which is softer than silk, the truffula was the sole source of material for the highly popular 'thneed', invented by the Once-ler. It was harvested with a Super Axe Hacker, which could fell four truffulas at one stroke.

Conservation story

In spite of warnings by the Lorax, the guardian of the forest, the large-scale manufacture of 'thneeds' by the greedy Once-ler led to the truffula becoming extinct. However, it is rumoured that a boy named Ted has been given the last seed.

Wildlife facts

The brown barb-a-loot (a mammal of the family Ursidae) depends on the truffula for its main source of food: the tasty purple fruit of the tree. Since the deforestation of Truffula Valley, the brown barb-a-loot population there has migrated to the surrounding area.

 

The movie Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax © Universal Studios. Based on The Lorax book and characters TM & © 1971 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All rights reserved.

Glossary

  • Crown: cluster of leaves and branches at the top of trunk.
  • Ovoid: three-dimensionally egg-shaped with broader end at base.
  • Panicle: multi-branched collection of flowers (inflorescence).
  • Striation: linear mark.

Video

Watch the official Lorax movie trailer

Get a flavour of this amazing film, and what inspired our great event at Eden. The film is out in the UK on 27 July.

Play video