Maresia nana Maresia nana The plant is only found in coastal areas. (Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Rare flower found for the first time in 90 years

Botanists are thrilled to spot the maresia nana in a surprising place.

The maresia nana, an endangered annually-blooming plant with small pink flowers, disappeared from urban centers almost a century ago. But it was rediscovered in Jaffa, a neighborhood near Tel Aviv, Israel, by participants in a gardening course who were touring the city's trees.

The plant was identified by Dr. Ori Fragman-Sapir, scientific director of the Hebrew University's Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem.

“In contrast to the beautiful red-flowered species whose preservation is easy to explain to the public, it’s hard to give reasons for protecting such a small and unimpressive plant that has no clear importance," wrote Fragman-Sapir about the maresia nana on Kalanit, an Israeli plant journal website. "But one must remember that the reason for preservation is not just the species’ attractiveness to man, but because the species is part of Israel’s natural flora and its biodiversity.”

maresia nanaIsraeli plant journal Kalanit first reported the sighting of this rare plant. (Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Part of the good news is that botanists think this discovery suggests rare plants can survive in urban centers, which ironically may be the last refuge for some endangered species.

At a time when plants and animals are disappearing in record numbers, news like this is cause for celebration.


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Related Topics: Environment