Thought to be extinct in the wild by 1950. Now recent reports show how International cooperation, Seed Banks and Botanical Gardens can play an important role in reversing losses.
My first encounter with this amazing saga was seeing a plant reintroduced at Kenilworth Racecourse (KRCC)
Reading the City of Cape Town BIODIVERSITY REPORT 2018 I was intrigued by Box 22. “Erica verticillata – rediscovered and restored into the wild, with an unexpected twist”.
In particular the reference to the Erica collection at Belvedere Gardens in Austria caught my attention.
Hoping to find out more I read Anthony Hitchcock’s “History of the loss and rediscovery of Erica verticillata” http://pza.sanbi.org/history-loss-and-rediscovery-erica-verticillata
Go to: “The story of the plants grown at the Belvedere Palace Garden goes back a long way” possibly 1799, and read further of how the plants survived the bombing at the end of the Second World War.
Now in 2019 we can see that some things do have a happy ending.
Some of the role players are shown here: http://pza.sanbi.org/erica-verticillata