Countdown to a rare plant's extinction

Say good-bye to the Corypha taliera. The world's rarest palm has just one wild plant left in the world, and it is about to die.

Botanists at Bangladesh's Dhaka University are watching the last Corypha taliera as it blooms, a stage in its life-cycle which will quickly be followed by its death. Once it goes, the species will be extinct in the wild.

Only one other Corypha taliera specimen is known to exist, but it was grown in a garden from seeds. The Dhaka University scientists will try to collect seeds from their wild plant before it dies, in hopes of cultivation. But they seem pessimistic: most other attempts to grown the plant in controlled conditions have failed.

For now, the scientists will have the opportunity to watch the 10-meter-tall tree bloom, with the sad knowledge that they could be the last human beings on Earth to see it happen.

See more articles from Extinction Blog


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

Issue 25

Sign up for Plenty's Weekly Newsletter