7 Flowers You Will Never See In The Wild Again

Beautiful flowersFebruary is a month of romance.  The days leading up to the fateful 14th are often filled with men searching for flowers, women looking for a new outfit, and people generally trying to woo each other in any way they can think of. Interestingly enough, however, when you look at the history of Valentine’s Day, there is little mention of such romantic things as bouquets, candlelit dinners and nights out on the town.  The background of the day has little to do with lovers, and more to do with classical martyrs in ancient Europe, although the facts are hazy.  Before we know it, however, there will be other martyrs resulting from this day, this time in the form of flora.

Flower Extinction

Over time, many native plants have been faced with threats to their existence due to many reasons:  deforestation, over-harvesting, habitat loss, and other invasive species have combined to act as exterminators for several species of flower.  Just like their animal counterparts, plants, too may end up on an “endangered species list,” which, if unmonitored turns into a “you’ll never see this again” list.  Unfortunately for Valentine’s Day romantics, this is already in the works.

7 Flowers That Are Already Gone

These problems occur all over the world.  In countries on every continent, plants have suffered because of human activity, environmental concerns, and the Darwinian method of evolution: the strongest wins.  Seven of the flowers that the wild will never feature again include:

  • Cosmos Atrosanguineus, a beautiful flower native to Mexico produced dark red blooms that gave off a fragrance reminiscent of chocolate.  These “chocolate cosmos” are only found in cultivation, as there is one clone surviving.  Otherwise, they are completely extinct from the wild.
  • Mace pagoda, Wynberg conebush, and diminutive powderpuff.  Each of these three flowering plants hail from Britain, but are no longer found there. Experts blame habitat loss as the reason why they no longer grace this world with their beauty.
  • Euphorbia mayurnathanii also survives as a cultivated species that originally habituated the rocky ledges of India.
  • Spain’s lysimachia minoricensis was found in only one location when it existed.  Due to loss of habitat, this flower only survives in cultivation as well.
  • The valerianella affinis is another unique species found in only one site in Yemen in the 19th century.  Now, only a dried specimen is what remains of the legacy of this plant.
  • St. Helena’s mountain bush, Acalypha rubrinervis produced flowers full of texture and color.  As the human population increased on Saint Helena Island, this flower population disappeared
  • Viola cryana is known more commonly as the Cry violet, and is native to france.  Over-collection and distruction of habitat in limestone quarries caused its extinction in the wild in the early part of the 20th century.

A World Without Roses

By learning about these beautiful plants and their demise, one might wonder what the world may look like in the next decade or so.  With the expansion of human population and industry, what effects might the human civilization have on the plants and animals around it?  While the future is yet to be seen, just imagine what your world might be like without roses.

 

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

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