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Rare tree blooms after 30 years

By Li Yingqing in Kunming and Jin Haixing in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-21 06:54
Rare tree blooms after 30 years

A gardener checks the flowers of a Chinese manglietiastrum, a rare tree, at Kunming Botanical Garden in Yunnan province on Tuesday. HUANG RONGHUA / FOR CHINA DAILY

A rare tree in Southwest China's Yunnan province has bloomed for the first time since it was transferred to a botanical garden 30 years ago.

The tree, a 13-meter-high Chinese manglietiastrum, was transplanted for conservation in 1983 from Xichou county to Kunming Botanical Garden in Kunming, Yunnan's capital.

Experts say the blossom shows that the experiment has succeeded, and the method may be used to protect more rare plants that are in danger of extinction in Yunnan.

The Chinese manglietiastrum, a member of the Magnoliaceae family, is a genus unique to China. It is found only in Xichou, Maguan and Jinping counties in the southeastern area of Yunnan.

Until now, only 37 of the trees have been discovered in fields, and it was listed as a national key protected wild plant in 1999.

In 2011, it was placed on the World Conservation Union's Red List.

The tree can be saved from extinction only by artificial breeding because it rarely propagates in the wild.

Since 2007, several organizations launched campaigns to preserve the Chinese manglietiastrum. They include the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Kunming Institute of Botany and the Yunnan Academy of Forestry.

Contact the writers at liying-qing@chinadaily.com.cn and jinhaixing@chinadaily.com.cn

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