• Question: What is the rarest plant?

    Asked by acyborgwolf to Izzy, Amelia on 20 Mar 2014.
    • Photo: Isabel Webb

      Isabel Webb answered on 20 Mar 2014:

      The rarest plant that I know about is the Wollemi Pine. This pine was found a few years ago in a valley in Australia, and they only found 12 of them in total. They haven’t found the pine anywhere else at all!

      The discovery was exciting for two reasons.
      1. the fact that it had managed to survive as so few trees in a single habitat without being found
      2. the Wollemi pine was thought to have been a very old tree that had already gone extinct. It isn’t closely related to any living plants – and our Wollemi fossils date back over 200 million years ago!!

    • Photo: anon

      anon answered on 20 Mar 2014:

      There are many plants which are on the brink of extinction, but plants don’t look as cuddly as pandas so the public don’t really know about them or know how to protect them!

      A rare plant recently made the news! Nymphaea thermarum – the worlds smallest water lily is extinct in the wild. (It used to live near hot springs in Rwanda). But it was stolen by greedy people from the botanic gardens in London.

      This is a terrible shame, because this may mean that other rare and beautiful species might not be on display for everyone to enjoy 🙁