September 24, 2017

Latest:

Poinsettias are ready to go the distance in 2017 -

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Makita introduces new ‘Farmers Choice’ 55.7cc chainsaw -

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Leave it to Billy Goat -

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Forestry grant widened in Scotland -

Friday, September 22, 2017

Less than a month to go until the focus on health at the CIH Annual Conference -

Friday, September 22, 2017

Media City win spurs growth for Hale-based I Want Plants -

Friday, September 22, 2017

London Stone launch DesignBoard -

Friday, September 22, 2017

British Hardwood Tree Nursery extends office and job roles to prepare for exciting growth period -

Friday, September 22, 2017

New global vegetable garden establishing well with HortLoam -

Friday, September 22, 2017

Wensleydale gets conservation push -

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Arboriculture apprentices on course to branch out -

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Get gardens looking their best for winter with Safeguard’s Roxil range -

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Drone technology adds another dimension to SoilsCon 2017 -

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Green-tech wins affiliate exceptional service at BALI National Landscape Awards 2017 -

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Adelaide contemporary international design competition coming soon -

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ground Control scoops four BALI National Landscape Awards -

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kubota UK gearing up for SALTEX with exciting new machines -

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Beaulieu proudly unveils new breathtaking piece of art -

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New research demonstrates visiting a park once a week contributes to increased health and well being -

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Government pledges £500,000 for new action group to grow future of public parks -

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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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