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Antarctic pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis

At only 50mm tall this tiny pearl is one of only two flowering plants found on the entire Antarctic continent. Adopt an Antarctic pearlwort seed as a special wedding or birthday gift and keep its seed collection alive and chilled out in the Millennium Seed Bank at Kew.

When temperatures reach a balmy zero degrees centigrade, this tiny yet tenacious plant has to work fast to flower and seed in the twelve weeks of the short Antarctic summer. Brilliantly adapted to living in extreme conditions, its cup-shaped yellow and white flowers shine upwards to channel the sun’s rays into their centre, and its tiny leaves help to reduce water loss.

However the Antarctic pearlwort, and its only other flowering neighbour the Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia Antarctica), may not be alone for much longer... the Antarctic is undergoing an alien invasion.  Exotic species brought in unintentionally by tourists, and from other human activity in the area, are putting these natives at risk. We are working alongside partner organisations to safeguard the incredible wildlife of this wintry continent.

Adopt an Antartic pearlwort seed as a gift for £25 now and assure its safe, alien-free future in the Millennium Seed Bank. 

 

 

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