The following ex-situ conservation plants are all listed as endangered in their region of origin due to habitat loss and climate change:
1) Araucaria araucana Monkey Puzzle
- This unique looking conifer is native to the Chilean Andes and considered a living fossil dating back over 60 million years.
- The Mapuche Pehuenche people of the Andes value these trees for their edible seeds and spiritual significance.
- Its common name was derived circa 1850, when English barrister, Benthamist Charles Austin remarked, “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that”. CAUTION: Leaves are quite sharp!
2) Cedrus atlantica Atlas Cedar
- This true cedar is native to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria.
- They are commonly cultivated in the Pacific Northwest and can reach sizes that out rival our native conifers. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to major limb failures in storms and sadly, still topped for views.
- Our specimens may be currently under threat from fungi that cause a needle blight.
3) Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn Redwood
- A deciduous conifer and another living fossil thought to be extinct until a 1943 discovery of a grove in China, Hubei’s Lichuan County.
- Our specimens came from seeds of the original 1948 expedition and are now the tallest in the U.S.!
4) Picea omorika Serbian Spruce
- Yet another conifer, this one is native to Bosnia and Serbia.
- A common ornamental spruce cultivated in the Pacific Northwest that has an attractive narrow and pendulous habit. Several cultivars exist.
- Cultivars ‘Bruns’ and ‘Nana’ will be showcased at our Flower and Garden Show display.
5) Rhododendron macabeanum
- This large-leaved Rhododendron is native to northeastern India.
- The flowers are a pale-to-deep yellow color with a purple basal blotch.
- Only found on two peaks in India (Saramati and Japvo), one of which is not easily accessible due to security issues. Under pressure from forest loss and logging.