UK to help save Vietnamese species

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Garden owners in the UK could one day have a rare Vietnamese tree growing in their green space.

Brits often look to stamp individuality on their outdoor areas and the Xanthocyparis vietnamensis could be the ideal addition, with just 169 left in the wild, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reported.

Discovered a decade ago, the species is in danger of extinction thanks to a combination of logging and its difficulties in reproducing.

Vietnamese scientists lack the facilities for testing seed viability and UK expert Matt Parratt from the Forestry Commission has stepped in to help.

He has brought a number of seeds back to Britain for the first time and will x-ray them and feed back information to south-east Asia.

Viable seeds will be planted at Kent's Bedgebury Pinetum and a number of botanic gardens around the UK in order to boost the tree's numbers.

However, it could one day be grown in Brits' gardens and the hope is that science can help restore the species to its former glory in Vietnam.

In other news, the RHS has revealed that scientists in the UK are looking to record and pass on the knowledge and skills that have kept African and Asian food plants growing in Britain.   - 18 March 2010
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UK to help save Vietnamese species

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