Raising the living dead

Ramosmania rodriguesii

  • Carlos Magdalena Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Abstract

‘Living dead’ is a term biologists have begun to use to describe those species that are not expected to escape extinction without significant human intervention (Janzen, 2001), such as captive breeding or cultivation. While the number of taxa that fall into this category continues to increase, this paper reports on a species that may beat the odds and escape its fate, after decades of cultivation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. An account of the historical facts that led to the recovery of the species in question, Ramosmania rodriguesii, and the latest update regarding its current situation are provided along with cultivation notes.

Author Biography

Carlos Magdalena, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Botanical Horticulturist

References

ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE (1983). Endangered Species Handbook – It’s Too Late. Available online: http://www.endangeredspecieshandbook.org/dinos_plants.php (accessed 23 July 2010).

BALFOUR, I.B. (1877). Aspects of the Phanerogamic Vegetation of Rodrigues. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 16, 7–25.

JANZEN, D.H. (2001). Latent extinctions – the Living Dead, In LEVIN, S.A. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Biodiversity vol. 3. Academic Press, New York, 689–699.

LEGUAT, F. (1708). Voyages et aventures de François Leguat et de ses compagnons en deux îles désertes des Indes orientales. 2 vols. J.L. de Lorme, Amsterdam & London.

MAGDALENA, C. (2004). Ramosmania rodriguesii: New hope for a doomed genus. RBG Kew, School of Horticulture. Unpublished.

MOUTIA, S. (1984). Randia heterophylla Balf. F. is not extinct in Rodrigues. Mauritius Institute Bulletin 10, 123.

OWENS, S.J., JACKSON, A., MAUNDER, M., RUDALL, P. & JOHNSON, M.A.T. (1993). The breeding system of Ramosmania heterophylla – dioecy or heterostyly? Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 113, 77–86.

STRAHM, W. (1983). Rodrigues: can its flora be saved? Oryx, 17, 122–125.

TIVERGANDUM, D.D. (1989). Ramosmania rodriguesii nouvelle rubiacée endémique de Rodrigues. Compte Rendu des Séances de la Société de Biogéographie, 65, 14.

WALTER, K.S. & GILLETT, H.J. (eds) (1998). The 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. IUCN Publications Unit, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, lxiv, 862.

Published
2010-11-13
How to Cite
Magdalena, C. (2010). Raising the living dead. Sibbaldia: The Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture, (8), 63-73. https://doi.org/10.23823/Sibbaldia/2010.137
Section
Articles