Cáfe marron Ramosmania rodriguesii
On its home island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean, café marron was thought to be extinct in the wild until a single surviving tree was spotted by a vigilant local schoolboy in 1980.
Horticultural staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew managed to root cuttings from the sole surviving tree in 1986.
Several generations of cuttings now thrive in Kew’s glasshouses and some have been returned to Rodrigues.
Although café marron regularly flowers at Kew, it never set seed until Kew’s horticulturists made a major breakthrough when they discovered how to pollinate the flowers. In 2003 the café marron bore its first fruit with viable seeds. The seedlings are now thriving in Kew’s nursery.
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