November 18, 2017

Latest:

Enjoy 12 giveaways of Christmas with Hillier -

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A lost legacy: Manchester’s Royal Botanical Garden -

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Landscape Partnership seeks consultant to collate historic evidence -

Friday, November 17, 2017

8,000 new trees to be planted this year in Sheffield -

Friday, November 17, 2017

Stewart Milne Homes appoints new construction director to drive growth in Central Scotland -

Friday, November 17, 2017

Northern Design Awards – Barnes Walker reaches prestigious finals -

Friday, November 17, 2017

BALI National Landscape Awards 2017 is a sell-out event -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lee Bestall finalist in this year’s Northern Design Awards -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pro Landscaper’s Most Influential revealed -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Funding boost for Bilston Urban Village ‘Garden City’ site -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Landscape protection confirmed for Cornwall’s rare species -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Minister for London welcomes £1.4 billion Croydon redevelopment -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Green-tech launches new anchoring system at Futurescape 2017 -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Makita’s new factory service centre & training academy in Glasgow has a national role -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Lister Wilder Ltd announced as this year’s biggest UK ‘MOW-team’ -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Oman Botanic Garden revealed -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Capel Manor College wins key horticulture apprenticeship contract -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Time running out to effectively transpose EU Environmental Acquis into UK Law -

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Save up to £2775 and 50% of the cost of a battery with Pellenc -

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Civic Engineers awarded £1.8 million contract to help deliver Glasgow City Centre ‘Avenues’ project -

Tuesday, November 14, 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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