October 17, 2017

Latest:

Amenity Forum Conference success -

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

WATG unveils innovative ‘Green Block’ to help make London the world’s first National Park City -

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Embrace a multi-generational workforce, says Glendale -

Monday, October 16, 2017

Makita adds to their 10.8V CXT range -

Monday, October 16, 2017

Year of change brings strong results for Broadway Malyan -

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mulchrone Brothers makes impact in groundcare market with Kubota UK -

Monday, October 16, 2017

The University of Manchester launches new interactive tree trail -

Monday, October 16, 2017

Support the launch of the Woodland Trust’s Charter for Trees, Woods and People -

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lina’s ‘Break Free’ wins prison garden poll -

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Diarmuid Gavin unveils plans for the largest container garden in the world -

Friday, October 13, 2017

Green Flag Award reveals the public’s favourite parks -

Friday, October 13, 2017

National infrastructure commsion reveals gallery of final design concepts for the Cambridge to Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition -

Friday, October 13, 2017

Proposals to improve council’s Streets and Open Spaces service -

Friday, October 13, 2017

idverde helps transform Shepton Mallet into ‘the Snowdrop Town’ -

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Willmott Dixon lands £66m Midlands universities treble -

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Designs for Manchester’s proposed new Peace Garden created by landscape architecture students -

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Green-tech smash charity target for children’s charity Physcap -

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Phase two of the Greening of Vauxhall Walk opens -

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Council granted order to acquire land for Waterside scheme -

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Inclusive outdoor learning and play area from Sutcliffe Play -

Wednesday, October 11, 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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