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: Tsodilo daisy (Erlangea remifolia)
Status: Only 50 or so plants remain in the Tsodilo Hills of northwest Botswana.
Threats: Each year, thousands of people visit the Tsodilo Hills, a Unesco World Heritage s ite, to see what has been called the “Louvre of the Desert,” over 4,500 rock paintings in a nearly four-square -mile area of rock outcrops in the Kalahari. The San Bushmen, who consider the hills to be sacred, made the paintings of animals, human figures and geometric designs, which date from the Stone Age to the 19th century. Unfortunately, the tourism boom and development has threatened the Tsodilo daisy. When a team from the project visited to collect seeds, they were lucky to spot the purple daisies of a single plant on a rock ledge somewhat removed from tourist traffic.