Posted: Fri 29th Jan 2016

Rare plant saved from extinction

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016

A rare meadow plant with striking blue flowers has been brought back from extinction in the wild in Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The last surviving wild population of Meadow Clary in Wales, at a site in Monmouthshire, was dying out. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

But before it became extinct here, seeds were collected and grown at Treborth Botanic Gardens in Bangor, North Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This gave Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and its partners a chance to study the plant and understand why it was in decline. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This discovered that the Meadow Clary population at the Rectory Meadow Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Monmouthshire had dwindled due to genetic deterioration. The plants were unable to sustain the population. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire then studied various populations of Meadow Clary, found at only 22 locations across the UK. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Results showed that the germination of the Welsh plant wasn’t as good as other larger and healthier populations. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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