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Dombeya mauritiana

Dombeya mauritiana

About the plant

All specimens of Dombeya mauritiana that exist are clones of two trees found on its native Mauritius.

  • Not yet evaluated

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Banked in the MSB
    Seeds from this plant have been banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Click on icon to reveal more

Facts

  • Previously declared extinct in the wild
  • Flowers thought to be pollinated by carrion flies
  • Wood used as a building material

Lone specimens

In 1976 a single specimen of D. mauritiana was found. By 1994 it had died and the species was declared extinct.
 
Luckily a few cuttings taken from the plant survived in cultivation.
 
In 2009 another wild survivor was reported. With a local team Kew’s horticulturists fought through guava thicket to reach it. They took cuttings and successfully propagated it at Kew.

Two extremes = hope

There are dramatic differences between the last two wild specimens. The first was a rounded shrub found in dry lowland, the other a 10m tall tree from cooler moist highlands.

The extreme differences between them means the species was probably very variable before its populations declined. Hopefully there will be enough genetic diversity contained in the two surviving clones to restore populations to their former glory.
This plant appears to produce male flowers in hot conditions and female flowers in cool conditions
  • Not yet evaluated

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Banked in the MSB
    Seeds from this plant have been banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Click on icon to reveal more