This month’s Save Plants pays tribute to life forms that are critical living partners of endangered plants that are often unseen, but directly or indirectly support healthy plants and a healthy planet. From diverse lichens that are soil creators and sensitive indicators of environmental change to soil crusts that allow plants to survive harsh droughts, we take a moment to appreciate the small entities that play a large role in our world.
Two hundred years ago, the limestone bluffs and ravines of the Apalachicola River in Georgia and the Florida panhandle were dotted with impressive 30- to 60-foot tall Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia). The yew-like trees were abundant enough to support harvest, with the light but durable yellow wood transformed into fence posts, shingles, planks, and more. Then came the fungal infection. Florida torreya is now North America’s most endangered conifer, with over 98% of the population lost.
Ferns abound on the Island of Enchantment – Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory is home to many species of ferns, including 22 endemic species found nowhere else. While stunning tree ferns may capture the attention of island visitors who venture away from the beaches and into the forest, rare endemics are the prize that botanists from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden have been seeking.
In Guam, the invasive insect pest Cycad Aulacaspis Scale, which arrived via horticultural imports, has caused devastating impact on the Micronesian cyad (Cycas micronesica). Learn how the impressive conservation efforts of Montgomery Botanic Center, a CPC Network Partner, served as an important safeguard against the species’ extinction.
The Isle of Enchantment has many treasures. Among them is our Conservation Champion for April 2020, Omar Monsegur-Rivera, a man who watches out for the diverse and numerous endangered flowering and non-flowering plants of Puerto Rico. Through his actions, some of the rarest ferns in Puerto Rico are thriving in cultivation at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
The important research and conservation actions featured this month focus on plants that do not produce flowers. No less beautiful, no less interesting, these plants have benefited from long-term dedication and study by our Participating Institutions. We are pleased to showcase this exceptional work and the people who make it happen.
Not long ago, running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) was thought by many to be extinct. Yet, this past fall, it joined a select few species considered recovered enough for delisting from the Endangered Species Act. This noteworthy event is a result of the extensive work that has gone into recovery efforts at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW).
While dangling from ropes on a cliffside in Kaua’i in 1991, Research Biologist Ken Wood made an exciting discovery – a previously undescribed species of hau kuahiwi, or mountain hibiscus (Hibiscadelphus), a rare genus found only in Hawai’i. A recent drone program instituted by NTBG showed the importance of this technology in rare plant surveying when a drone flight caught the first glimpse of this species in nearly a decade.
Wes Knapp is leading an important effort to assess plant extinction in North America north of Mexico. Taking up this cause of understanding extinction has opened his eyes to the extent of our knowledge, and sometimes our lack of knowledge, about rare plants.
Today we have the pleasure of sharing good news about the rediscovery of plants once thought to be extinct and the great work our Participating Institutions are doing to recover the species in the wild. Learn how new technology is helping us explore hard to access locations, the heroic efforts required in the laboratory, and great restoration results.
Reports on butterfly decline have spurred gardeners across the country into action, eager to help the butterfly by making up for lost habitat and planting caterpillar food – milkweed – in their gardens. Unfortunately, many were planting tropical milkweed, which were actually leading to parasitic infections in adult butterflies. Read more about the plants you should plant.
2020-03-12T04:47:43+00:00 February 3rd, 2020|
Explore this issue of Save Plants to understand how urban connections to nature are being formed in South Florida, and how your home garden may become part of a solution – especially if you understand the nuances of what it means for a plant to be native.
2020-03-12T04:47:30+00:00 February 2nd, 2020|
This month's Conservation Champion, Polly Pierce, was part of the circle of people instrumental in ensuring the early success of the Center for Plant Conservation and dedicated many years to serving on the CPC board. Today, Polly continues to support CPC with her generosity and wisdom.
2020-03-02T17:22:27+00:00 January 10th, 2020|
If you have a chance to be in Dan Gluesenkamp’s orbit, you will experience someone with a stunning passion for plants. A brilliant orator, he has the ability to paint a vibrant picture of his conservation dreams. Perhaps even more important, he will leave you with a great sense of hope.
2020-02-07T22:29:27+00:00 January 7th, 2020|
This month’s newsletter focuses on the California Biodiversity Initiative and its vision for plant conservation. Learn about the work CPC is doing with the California Native Plant Society to realize this vision.
2019-11-07T05:10:37+00:00 November 6th, 2019|
This month we take the opportunity to more thoroughly introduce our readers to the CPC’s new President and CEO, Dr. Joyce Maschinski. We at CPC look forward to Joyce’s leadership as we march forward to save plants.