Seeds of the Bermuda Palmetto, among other types of seeds, are being safeguarded. *Creative Commons by Cookie
Seeds of the Bermuda Palmetto, among other types of seeds, are being
safeguarded. *Creative Commons by Cookie

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25: Just over 10,000 seeds have been sent from Bermuda to the UK to safeguard the island’s rarest endemic plants.

The seeds of the olivewood, the Bermuda snowberry, the Bermuda palmetto and the St Andrew’s cross began to be shipped to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, London in 2007.

The major operation was part of The Millennium Seed Bank Project, which is an international conservation initiative aimed at safeguarding 24,000 plant species from around the globe.

It has already successfully secured the future of virtually all the UK’s native flowering plants. And to date 3,340 olivewood seeds, 1,740 snowberry seeds, 4,027 palmetto seeds and 1,000 St Andrew’s cross seeds have been transported across the Atlantic to London. Alison Copeland, biodiversity officer for Conservation Services, said: “Bermuda’s plants are under threat due in great part to habitat loss caused by increasing human needs.

“There are several Bermuda-based propagators working towards the preservation of species by producing seedlings.

“However, storing seeds of threatened species off island would be a safeguard against natural disasters that would dramatically alter Bermuda’s terrestrial environment.”