Plant story - Dalea azurea has been given new lease of life by Millennium Seed Bank partners in Chile
Dalea azurea is an endangered plant species restricted to only one valley in the area of Paposo, in the Atacama Region in Chile. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is helping to protect this plant for our future.
01 Jan 2010
Dalea azurea flower (Photo: T Ulian)
Very small populations of the plant remain
Between July 2001 and April 2003 the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) sent expeditions to the area for the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership. They gathered only a small number of seeds because of the small size of its populations.
Plants of Dalea azurea successfully propagated in the greenhouse in INIA, Chile
Generating more seeds and plants
In order to conserve larger, more useful seed samples of this plant species and four other threatened and endemic Chilean species, a joint project entitled ‘Ex situ conservation of threatened Chilean flora through propagation' was funded by the mining company Rio Tinto PLC. This was started at the beginning of 2004. After one year of the project and thanks also to the help provided by Richard Wilford from Kew's Horticulture and Public Education Department, plants of Dalea azurea have been successfully propagated by seed and cuttings.
The next generation of seeds will be harvested and stored in the seed bank for long term conservation of the species. The propagated plants will be available as a source of material critical for the species reintroduction and rehabilitation in the future.
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.
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