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News November 2008 [click here to go back to the main News page]

For some time I have been sending seeds and plant material to the UK to the Botanic and Winter Gardens in Sunderland, where they have a collection of Cretan plants. I was asked if I could obtain cuttings of Z. abelicea to replace the specimen in the National Collection at Hergest Croft Gardens in Hertfordshire. The cuttings have thrived and are being used to replace specimens lost in recent storms.

To mark the founding of the Syllogos for Flowers of Crete, the senior horticulturalist at the Botanic Gardens, Lee Stephenson, is sending us fifteen small P. theophrastii palms in order for us to establish some new colonies of this endangered and endemic palm on the island. The palms have been grown in the nurseries at the gardens from seed collected from the wild on Crete some years ago. There is much to do in order to accomplish this, as far as we know nothing like this has been attempted before. There is the inevitable paperwork to complete and the care of the palms once received will be critical. We need donations of large plant pots, compost etc, as well as financial support for this venture.

In addition to this important conservation effort, Flowers of Crete is also offering its services to businesses and individuals alike to assist in the planning of conservation areas in the land around ‘new builds’. This consultancy service can offer a site inspection before work begins to ascertain what plants can be saved and moved successfully. In the planning stages, it is recommended that areas be set aside for planting with endemic and native species, particularly those that are endangered and in danger of extinction on the island. We can also offer plans for landscaping of natural areas and advice on planting. Many imported plants pose a threat to the native species and it is essential that care is taken when choosing plants for new gardens, whether cultivated or wild ‘environmental’ areas. These services are available both to individuals and to companies.

Flowers of Crete needs sponsorship from the business community with interests in Crete, in order to further the work of education and conservation on the island. By working in conjunction with developers and private individuals we can start to make small inroads into the damage here on Crete and offer a solution that can be copied elsewhere to great effect.

Flowers of Crete is a member of the conservation organisations PlantaEuropa and Wildlife International and is a contributor to the international database of images ARKive.

 
   
 
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