9 plants more valuable than nicest jewelry


Posted on April 5, 2017

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Human activities threatens a large number of animal species, but also irreparably affects the flora. Many plants species now have so few representatives that the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies each of them as "critically endangered".

Nepenthes attenboroughii. Conservation status: critically endangered. This unique plant is named after naturalist David Attenborough. It was first noted in 2000, and in June 2007, during a 2 month research expedition, group of biologist confirmed the discovery of a new species. Due to restricted distribution, Nepenthes attenboroughii was classified as “critically endangered”. Nepenthes attenboroughii feeds on insects trapped in its pitcher.

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Tahina spectabilis. Conservation status: critically endangered. Another plant that was discovered in 2007. Almost all life time Tahina doesn’t bear a single fruit or flower. It only blossoms at the end of a life cycle. However. when it flowers, the stem tip grows a large inflorescence that bursts into branches of hundreds of flowers. The drain on nutrients result in the death of the organism within several months. In 2012 IUCN has rated it as “critically endangered”, fewer than one hundred individuals of the species are thought to exist. In 2012 the number of adult palms decreased from 100 to 30.

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Rhizanthella gardneri. Conservation status: critically endangered. Western Underground Orchid is a plant in the orchid family that remains under the ground for whole life cycle. The species is endemic to western Australia, six populations are currently known. Loss of habitat (land being developed for agriculture) is one of the main causes of the reduced population of Rhizanthella gardneri.

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Echinomastus mariposensis. Conservation status: imperiled. Over the last 20 years almost 95% of individuals of the species were lost due to poaching; mercury mining, petroleum exploration activities, environmental pollution isn’t helping species survival.

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Encephalartos hirsutus. Conservation status: critically endangered. Another species requiring immediate attention from nature conservationists that is endemic for South Africa (the Limpopo province). Only a few specimens of this species are known to exist. Some even claim that Encephalartos hirsutus should be classified as “extinct”. The main threat and cause of disappearance: excessive collection for decorative purposes.

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Medusagyne oppositifolia. Conservation status: critically endangered. It is an unusual tree that grows in the deep gorges of the granite rocks and is endemic to the island of Mahe - the largest island of Seychelles. The plant believed to be extinct until a few individuals were found in the 1970s. A total of 86 mature specimens grow in the wild at the moment.

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Acacia anegadensis. Conservation status: critically endangered. Endemic for British Virgin Islands, species may soon become extinct due to sea level rise. Varieties of this plant, however, were recreated in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew.

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Anogramma ascensionis. Conservation status: critically endangered. Endemic to Ascension Island, a volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean. The plant believed to be extinct for half a century, until Anogramma ascensionis was discovered again in 2010. Botanists obtained spores from the found specimens and successfully cultivated it in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew. It is stated that no more than 40 mature individuals of this species remain in the wild.

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Erythrina schliebenii. Conservation status: critically endangered. Was declared extinct in 2008, after the last known individual was cut down. But in March 2012 a population of fewer than 50 mature trees was found during a botanical explorations in the south-east of Tanzania.

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