UK specialists teach Afghans about plant conservation

Kabul University students are to be given the gift of garden and greenhouse knowledge by experts from Scotland’s Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

Specialists from the horticultural attraction have travelled to Afghanistan to educate 20 people on how to identify and conserve some of the country’s most stunning plants.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the nation has one of the richest plant populations in the world, with a fifth of its species unique to Afghanistan.

However, 30 years of conflict have put this biodiversity at risk and limited plant collection expeditions, meaning the last sightings of some rare plants were in the 1970s.

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh team member Dr Matthew Hall noted that it is important to teach Afghans how to look after their special botanic resources.

"We’re starting from scratch in training, research concepts and plant identification, but that way we leave a lot more of a legacy than a list with a lot of Latin names on it," he explained.

Meanwhile, the RHS reports that a painting of a rose has been sold for £265,000 at auction in London.