My Twitter Feed

June 25, 2018

Latest:

MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME helps create urban oasis in London Bridge -

Monday, June 25, 2018

Clean Air Day: Calling on plants -

Monday, June 25, 2018

Beauty of the Galicia coast to feature at RHS Hampton Court -

Monday, June 25, 2018

GreenBlue Urban to host ‘Contractors Day’ this July -

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Murray Landscapes scores at hub South West’s eighth building for growth awards -

Friday, June 22, 2018

Sean Butler answers Pro Landscaper reader’s burning questions -

Friday, June 22, 2018

Green-tech returns to exhibit at Rail Live -

Friday, June 22, 2018

Talasey Group announces managing director and CEO -

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Posh Shed Company to unveil new ranges at Hampton Court -

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Soils & Trees Conference offers unprecedented opportunity -

Thursday, June 21, 2018

RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2018 winners announced -

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Timotay Landscapes return from BBC Gardeners’ World as winners -

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Stihl expands Workwear range -

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A designer’s guide to lighting outdoor social areas -

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Give it some welly for Thrive this September -

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Macmillan Southport Flower Show garden tells tale of life after cancer diagnosis -

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Laburnum anagyroides Yellow Rocket takes best in show at New Plant Awards -

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Perennial helps children of horticulturists with new Child Bursaries -

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Gardens on APL Avenue at BBC Gardeners’ World Live showcase industry talent -

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Rare Eden pollen sent off to Germany for breeding project -

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ecoscape

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.”

Comments are closed.