Plant Saved From Brink of Extinction Flourishes at Logan

An endangered species of Rhododendron, believed to be extinct in the wild, can be seen flourishing at Logan Botanic Garden, near Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway.

It is believed that only four plants of the Northern Taiwanese Rhododendron kanehirae exist. Two plants are at Logan and the other two are at Logan’s parent Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) recently published a Red List of Rhododendrons assessing the conservation status of each Rhododendron plant species. Recent research carried out has indicated that a quarter of the 1157 species are under threat in the wild; one Rhododendron, Rhododendron kanehirae would be extinct but for the four existing plants that are growing at Logan and Edinburgh.

Curator of Logan Botanic Garden, Richard Baines said: “Botanic Gardens such as Logan can play a vital role in modern day conservation when so many plant species are under threat. It is encouraging to see that the outlook for this species is much more encouraging now and the hope is that we can reintroduce it to its natural environment.’’

At Logan, Rhododendron kanehirae can be found growing in the Walled Garden. It normally grows up to one metre high and is covered in bright pink funnel shaped flowers in April/May.

Rhododendron kanehirae is considered to be extinct in the wild, following flooding of the river banks around its only known natural locality in Northern Taiwan.

This was caused by a dam that was built in 1984.

The plants at Logan came from Fushan Botanic Garden in Taiwan growing on the margin of sub-tropical rainforest.

ENDS

For further information, or hi-res images, please contact Sandra Donnelly on 0131 248 1037 or Shauna Hay on 0131 248 2900.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)