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Akamas knapweed Centaurea akamantis

Do you have a head for heights? This beautiful but Critically Endangered rock star is found in just two heady locations in the world – both in Cyprus’ canyon wall crevices. 

The gorgeous Akamas images were taken by Chris Clennett, Garden Manager at Wakehurst, RBG Kew’s botanic garden in Sussex and home to the Millennium Seed Bank. He says “This rare knapweed literally clings to life. Plants are only found on one small stretch of sheer cliff in western Cyprus, growing out of tiny crevices in the vertical rock face. When they flower in the autumn, their beautiful purple blooms are struck by sunlight only at the height of the day, when the sun’s rays can penetrate the deep gorge where this endangered plant is hiding. It’s worth the long walk up a dusty dry track to see these lovely flowers suspended high above your head.”

Even though this is a relatively inaccessible location, the area is increasingly under pressure from tourism development and road construction. We are working with The Mediterranean Seed Conservation Partnership (MAVA) to ensure the survival of this rock star on the edge and the many other endangered plants in Cyprus.

Your £25 will help keep the Akamas knapweed seed collection alive and safe in the Millennium Seed Bank to rock-on into the future! 

 

Thanks to Chris Clennett for the photographs.

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