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Micranthemum micranthemoides extinct in the wild

Sally mentions that NatureServe was searching for a wild population of
this plant back east.  There is a big difference between a plant still
existing in the wild and existing in cultivation.  There are many
examples of this very unfortunate situation and it is not generally as
easy to fix as "just put it back out there."

Plants in cultivation adapt to their new homes and over time, their
genetics, and their adaptations, change.  They may not live in the wild
anymore, at least, not for long.  Secondly, successful transplantations
of rare plants back into habitat have shown, in Calif. at least, a 90%
failure rate.  The reasons are many, having to do with how much work it
takes to do it right (and expense), and the energy required to do
followup monitoring and management so the new population is not
outcompeted (usually by invasive exotic plants).  Usually, the reason
for the originally extirpation or extinction had to do with some serious
change in the ecology of the environment, so it may no longer be
suitable for the plant.

I work in the heritage network that NatureServe heads up and I sent the
people back east some samples from my tank of Micranthemum
micranthemoides a few years ago, so they are well aware of its use in
the trade.

Hope this helps explain,
Roxanne Bittman, Botanist
California Natural Diversity Database