May 25, 2017

Latest:

Tim Howell discusses why, in an increasingly gig-based economy, retaining your own workforce is still the best option -

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Indoor Garden Design brings plants into the home at RHS Chelsea 2017 -

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kubota offers 0% finance across RTV range -

Thursday, May 25, 2017

SGD members sweep the medals board at RHS Chelsea 2017 -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Edward Mairis will present a new style of garden design “Poetic Gardens” at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

An integrated materials solution for sporting excellence -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

HTA and APL members impress once again at RHS Chelsea Flower Show -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Great success for 40 Sunbury Road exhibit at Chelsea following a busy press day -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Shed Grounds Maintenance welcomes new contracts manager -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fourth win in four years for local timber buildings company at Chelsea Flower Show -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017: Garden inspired by Breast Cancer Research -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Landform consultants lead designer takes home top title at Chelsea Flower Show 2017 -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MTD merges with F. Robotics Acquisitions Ltd -

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hartley Botanic wins 5 Star Tradestand accolade at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stevenson Square blooms after spring spruce -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s wins gold for Darren Hawkes at RHS Chelsea -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hillier continues 72 year long Chelsea winning streak -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The M&G Garden and James Basson awarded ‘Best Show Garden’ -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Import substitution for Oak (Quercus Species) -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mind Trap sponsored by idverde Goes Gold at RHS Chelsea Flower Show -

Tuesday, May 23, 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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