Irish greenhouse grows extinct species

Despite thoughts that it had become extinct just a few years ago, a number of abutilon pitcairnenses have burst into bloom in an Irish greenhouse.

Native to the French Polynesian island of Pitcairn, the species was thought to have ceased to exist at the beginning of the century until one local gardener found a single remaining plant.

This has since been destroyed by a landslide, but not before cuttings were taken back to the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland by Dr Noeleen Smyth.

They have been used to grow around 100 plants, many of which have begun to flower after years of dormancy.

Intensive efforts to save the species could eventually see it returned to its native setting, but Dr Smyth revealed that experts wish to create a more genetically diverse breed before this happens.

"All we have at the moment are clones but we want to see whats happening at a genetic level and get as many individuals as possible," she revealed.

In other news, as part of the International Year of Biodiversity, the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland has commissioned a unique work of art.