What is thought to be the smallest water lily in the world has been saved from extinction by Kew Gardens. The water lily which was thought to be found at only one hot spring location in Africa has vanished from the wild. Named the thermal water lily because it likes to grow on the edges of thermal springs it measures just 1cm across. It was discovered in 1985 in Mashyuza, Rwanda and is thought to have disappeared about two years ago. A few specimens had been sent to Bonn Botanic Gardens and some seedlings were sent Kew but the plant has proved difficult to propagate. After many failed experiments eight plants were eventually grown in November last year and have since produced seeds. There are now dozens of new seedlings growing at Kew. It seems the plant has been saved just in time as one of the only two left at Bonn was recently eaten by a rat. The water lily will now be on display at Kew along with other endangered plants.
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