Tiny water lily saved from extinction
The world's smallest lily disappeared about two years ago as water feeding its habitat was diverted for farming.
Wed, May 19, 2010 at 06:51 AM
BACK TO LIFE: The tiny plant, whose lily pads can be as small as 1cm across, is known as the “thermal water lily” because it was discovered growing in the muddy edges of a hot spring. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
It's a big victory for a little lily.
Horticulturalists at Britain's Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, have saved the rare African water lily "nymphaea thermarum" from possible extinction.
The lily — believed to be the world's smallest — was found in just one location in Rwanda, but disappeared about two years ago as water feeding its habitat was diverted for farming.
Kew said Wednesday that seeds and seedlings from specimens preserved by German scientists were sent to London, where specialist Carlos Magdalena managed to coax the temperamental plant to grow. He says there are now more than 30 baby water lilies.
The plant is also known as the "thermal" water lily.
Its pad can be just 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter.
Copyright 2010 AP News