Argania spinosa, commonly known as argan tree or argan, is a tree species native to southwestern Morocco, where it is an important component of the local ecosystem and culture. It is a member of the family Sapotaceae and grows up to 10 meters tall with a gnarled trunk and thorny branches.
The argan tree is well-known for its fruit, which contains a nut with an oil-rich kernel that is used for culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic purposes. The oil extracted from the kernels is high in vitamin E and antioxidants and is often referred to as "liquid gold" because of its numerous health benefits.
The argan tree is also important for its role in preventing soil erosion and maintaining biodiversity in the region. The tree's deep roots help to stabilize the soil, while its canopy provides shade and shelter for a variety of plant and animal species.
Due to its economic and ecological significance, the argan tree has been the subject of conservation efforts in recent years. The UNESCO has recognized the argan tree as a Biosphere Reserve, and efforts have been made to protect the tree from over-harvesting and to promote sustainable management practices.
In addition to its traditional uses, argan oil has gained popularity in the cosmetics industry, where it is used in a variety of products such as moisturizers, shampoos, and soaps.