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May 26, 2018

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Covent Garden blooms for Chelsea Fringe -

Saturday, May 26, 2018

American Hardwood Export Council and Waugh Thistleton Architects collaborate with ARUP on landmark pavilion -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Summer celebration of art, creativity and imagination at Borde Hill Garden -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Special RHS Chelsea award winners revealed -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Stihl expands Viking range of petrol mowers -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Celebrating the benefits of plants with The Great Escape industry exhibit -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Plant of the Year and Product of the Year revealed at RHS Chelsea -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

HTA makes two big appointments -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Timotay Landscapes shortlisted for APL Avenue Show Garden competition -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Love Your Garden: NHS Special -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Alan Titchmarsh presents Griffin Glasshouses’ donation to the National Garden Scheme -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Capel Manor’s ’50 Shades of Gold’ garden wins Gold at RHS Chelsea Flower Show -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bernhard’s Nurseries enjoy success at Chelsea Flower Show -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Countrywide Grounds landscapes new garden to provide respite for patients at Alderney Hospital -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Myeloma UK Garden by John Everiss wins Silver-Gilt at RHS Chelsea 2018 -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Lemon Tree Trust Refugee Garden wins Silver-Gilt at Chelsea -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hat trick of awards for Landform Consultants at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 -

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

10 design trends at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from SGD members -

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pro Landscaper Chelsea Blogs: Lisa’s first blog, but not her first Chelsea -

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pro Landscaper Chelsea Blogs: Max’s outlook -

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Millboard

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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