1 Tahrcountry Musings: The Plant that was Brought Back from Oblivion

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Plant that was Brought Back from Oblivion

Since the 1950s Anogramma ascensionis fern found in Ascension Island in the South Atlantic was presumed extinct by the scientists.
Here is something that will warm the cockles of the heart of the conservation enthusiasts. Scientists attached to the London's Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew have rediscovered the fern and rescued it. The discovery was made on a mountainside in the harsh volcanic landscape of the island. The excited scientists got pieces of the ferns back to Kew so that more plants could be grown in the safety and sterility of their lab. 

The spores of ferns are vulnerable to drying and contamination, and the team had just 24 hours to transfer the spores to Kew. The samples were flown to a military airport in the UK, from where it was raced to Kew.

The plant started growing in the lab of Kew and the scientists are justifiably elated.  They have now succeeded in growing 60 new plants in culture. A plant has been saved from the brink of total extinction.

The long term plan is to restore Anogramma to its former wild habitats in Ascension Island

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