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Toward a Sustainable World
Stewardship for Future Generations
T. perrieri Takhtajania perrieri.
Photo: George Schatz

Rediscovering Takhtajania

George Schatz was just doing what botanists do: going through a bundle of plant specimens, sorting them by family for further study. Then, opening up another routine-looking package, he immediately recognized a "living fossil."

It was Takhtajania perrieri, a plant that had not been seen in the wild since 1909. The specimen was found in Madagascar by a local collector trained by the Garden. The rediscovery of Takhtajania will help scientists unravel the mystery of how flowering plants evolved.

"This discovery is more than a 'Eureka' moment for the Garden," says Schatz. "It is a fitting symbol of the crucial importance of botanical training in sustaining biodiversity."

Sustainable World: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Text and photos from "The Unseen Garden" available from MBG Press.
 
 
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