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Plant story - Antarctica's plant life is saved from extinction

All plant species found in Antarctica have been saved thanks to the efforts of the botanist, Dr Tim Rich. Tim's work has ensured that Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank now holds seed collections from all vascular plant flora found in the region, safe and s

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Emily Hancock
Dr Tim Rich in Antarctica (Photo: Emily Hancock)

About the expedition

The trip was long and arduous, but the collecting task was made easier because there are only two species in question!

These are Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis - which were successfully collected from Livingston Island, in the South Shetland Islands, which lies just off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

“Dr Rich, of the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, has collected extensively as part of the Seed Bank’s earlier UK Flora Programme”, says Donations Officer Steve Alton. He picked up the flora of Antarctica on a tourist trip to the southern continent and we now have them banked for safe keeping, should anything happen to the plants in their natural habitat.”

(2007) | More plant stories

Get involved - Adopt a Seed, Save a Species

We have successfully banked 10% of the world's wild plant species and we have set our sights on saving 25% by 2020.

Without plants there could be no life on earth, and yet every day another four plant species face extinction. Too often when we hear these kind of statistics there is little that we can do as individuals, but thanks to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership and the Adopt a Seed, Save a Species campaign there is something that you can do to ensure the survival of a plant species.

Adopt a seed for just £25 | Save a plant species outright

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