One of the world’s rarest plants - feared to be extinct in its native habitat - can now be seen in full flower at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).
Collected during an expedition to Malaysia in 1995 and described as a new species by Dr George Argent, of RBGE, the specimens cared for at the “Botanics” are now thought to be the only surviving examples of the species collected on the slopes of Mt Kinabalu in Borneo. When a second expedition returned in 2006, not one remained growing in the wild.
It is feared that unusual weather patterns potentially linked to climate change wiped out this fragile rhododendron. But RBGE horticulturists hope they will be able to produce new plants, which can eventually be transported back to Borneo and reintroduced to the mountain from which they originated.
Rhododendron tuhanensis is available to view at the Temperate Palm House Reception Desk from 8 – 14 November.