Ten Extremely Rare Seeds on the Brink of Extinction
The Millennium Seed Bank has set out to collect 25 percent of the world's plant species by 2020—before it is too late
- By Megan Gambino
- Smithsonian.com, May 14, 2012
(Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
Name: Pribby (Rondeletia buxifolia)
Status: Botanists located pribby—known only by a mention in a field book—on the Caribbean island of Montserrat in 2006. A member of the coffee family, the critically endangered species grows in a 6.5-square-mile area.
Threats: Eruptions of Montserrat’s Soufriè re Hills volcano in the mid-1990s obliterated a large portion of the island’s dry forests, where the orange-flowered shrub grows. The still-active volcano is a constant threat. Pribby competes with invasive species for what little habitat is left, and goats and other animals munch on most new growth.