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: Starfruit (Damasonium alisma)
Status: Once found in several counties of England, the now critically endangered starfruit is limited to just a few sites in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Surrey. It is illegal to pick or intentionally damage the plant.
Threats: The aquatic plant, with white flowers and star-shaped fruits, prefers the edges of muddy ponds, turned up by cattle in the pastures looking for a drink. But development has made this habitat scarce.
Learn more about Starfruits at the Encyclopedia of Life.