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February 18, 2018

Latest:

Alan Titchmarsh teams up with Beth Chatto Educational Trust for charity fundraiser -

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cheltenham High Street improvements begin this summer -

Saturday, February 17, 2018

LDA Design to deliver a Big Town Plan for Shrewsbury -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mayor’s £6m fund to boost green spaces & reduce plastic waste -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Get your hands dirty with an RHS apprenticeship -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Kubota UK launches new zero turn ride-on mower -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Piet Oudolf at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

RAF100 Centenary Garden seeks sponsors -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Show of resilience from invasives experts at industry conference -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Celebrating business success: The Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2017 -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Palmstead Nurseries launches new staff training academy -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Seminars introduce new guidance on tree selection for green infrastructure projects -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

30th birthday celebrations for Holland Landscapes -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

New GreenMech sub 750kg QuadChip 160 takes over 70% of tree surgeon Kevin Patton’s work -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Green-tech wins Supplier category in Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2017 -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Conservation apprenticeships available in the Yorkshire Dales -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Alan Titchmarsh to open new exhibition at Woburn Abbey marking the bicentenary of Humphry Repton -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ransomes continues long partnership with Continental Landscapes -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Industry exhibit revealed for RHS Chelsea 2018 -

Monday, February 12, 2018

Wildflowers embraced by the University of York -

Monday, February 12, 2018

Action for new species discovered on brink of extinction

Tiny, tropical and delicately beautiful Begonia elachista is an enigma in the world of plant research and conservation. Today all at once it officially becomes the newest of its kind known to science; the smallest identified species of Begonia on the planet and recorded as critically endangered – in the name of tourism. The race is on to provide protection and hope for the future, starting with horticultural and scientific research at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).

In the wild, Begonia elachista is only known to inhabit a single limestone cave mouth within a national park in central Peru. But, this is not a safe haven for the recently discovered botanical gem. As the Peruvian park authorities prepare to construct a new tourist route to the cave, RBGE tropical biodiversity research scientist Peter Moonlight is collaborating with partners in Peru and the USA to put in place a strategy for a more secure future for this vulnerable but important rarity.

He explained: “Everyone has heard of Begonias and many people tend to associate them with hanging baskets and bedding schemes for public parks. Indeed, with some harshness, Monty Don has labelled them ‘repulsively ugly’. The truth is much more exciting. Begonia is currently the fastest growing plant genus we have. More species have been published in that genus than in any other in the past decade and there are now 1,840 accepted species.”

As publication of the research paper by the European Journal of Taxonomy has drawn closer, there has been a new glimmer of hope. In the last few days the only captive living plant of this species has slowly started to flower in the research houses at RBGE. This could mark a small but incredibly important turning point in the story of Begonia elachista and help secure its future outside its threatened natural habitat.

Peter Moonlight concluded: “As a leading centre of research into Begonia and other key tropical plant families, RBGE is working to discover, study and secure the future of tropical plants and ecosystems for the next generation. Many are still poorly understood although they play a critical role in tropical ecosystems and are of great importance as environmental indicator species. In many cases they also have a strong role to play in the horticultural sector and as a food source, medicine or other products of benefit.  The species discovery programme at RBGE gives previous hidden gems – including Begonia elachista a voice on the global conservation stage.”

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