Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Cultivate 67: A third of plant species held in botanic garden collections

- October 2017

Liliana Derewnicka




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  No. 66 (October 2017)

Cultivate from BGCI

A third of plant species held in botanic garden collections

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Dear Cultivator,

The important work of botanic gardens was highlighted last month in a report published in  the journal Nature Plants, which found that the global network of botanic gardens conserves living plants representing almost two-thirds of plant genera and over 90% of plant families. The study, for which researchers analysed datasets compiled by BGCI, found that  the world’s botanic gardens contain at least 30% of all known plant species, including 41% of all those classed as ‘threatened’. However, researchers from the University of Cambridge discovered a significant imbalance between temperate and tropical regions. The vast majority of all plant species grown ex situ are held in the northern hemisphere. Consequently, some 60% of temperate plant species were represented in botanic gardens but only 25% of tropical species, despite the fact that the majority of plant species are tropical. Find out more 


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News from BGCI


BGCI/ArbNet partnership programme awarded

BGCI and ArbNet are delighted to announce the first set of grants awarded in the framework of the BGCI/ArbNet Partnership Programme. This is an international partnership building initiative that aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, skills and resources within the botanic garden and arboretum community.

The awards will be used to support joint activities between organisations that have signed formal BGCI/ArbNet partnership agreements. The activities being supported are aimed at strengthening the partnership between the organisations and will lead to further joint activities in the future. Find out more 


Remember to keep up with BigPicnic

Led by BGCI, BigPicnic brings together the public, scientists, policy-makers and industry to help tackle the global challenge of food security. Botanic gardens, with help from other Partners, are co-creating exhibitions and participatory events with people from all walks of life, to generate dialogue and build greater understanding of food security. Keep up to date with all the BigPicnic news including resources to help you carry out similar activities at your site by signing up to the BigPicnic newsletter - enter your email address at the bottom of any page of the BigPicnic website or follow us on Twitter @BigPicnic_EU.  


New issues of BGJournal available online

Vol 14 (1) published in January 2017 is now available open access. This issue entitled,  Red Lists: Plant conservation assessments and the role of botanic gardens, focuses on red listing and conservation assessments. The articles illustrate the ways in which botanic gardens around the world are contributing to an increased understanding of which plant - and also fungal - species are under threat, and where.  Read more and download 


Vol 14 (2) published in July 2017 is now available to members only. This issue, entitled Conservation horticulture: Making a garden a botanic garden, highlights the importance of the specialist skills required to grow a wider range of plant species and celebrates the horticulturists with such skills and the institutions that value them. Read more and download 



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Red List news


IUCN Red List

In the latest IUCN Red List update ( 2017.2) more plants than ever are listed as threatened with extinction. In total the IUCN Red List includes 23,074 plant species of which 12,102 (52%) are threatened with extinction. “This latest release of the IUCN Red List highlights the fact that it is not only rare species but even some of the most common species around us that are at risk of going extinct. In addition to looking after these threatened species in the wild, it is essential that we ensure these species as well as their genetic diversity are backed up in ex situ collections, such as botanic gardens, arboreta and seed banks for the future” says Malin Rivers, Red List Manager at BGCI. 


Oak Red List

We are pleased to announce a new publication produced by the Global Tree Conservation Program at The Morton Arboretum. The Red List of US Oaks report details for the first time the distributions, population trends, and threats facing all 91 native oak species in the U.S. using the IUCN Red List threat assessment platform, including updated versions of previously published assessments. The publication serves as a baseline for our current understanding of the state of the country’s oak trees and an authoritative guide for future conservation action. Sixteen species of oaks, all in the southern and western U.S., are now classified as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable, with another four species deemed Near Threatened. For more information about the report, see the recent press release or contact Diana Jerome (


Fraxinus ex situ survey

BGCI will be undertaking an ex situ survey of the genus Fraxinus for publication in the Red List of Fraxinus later this year. Are your PlantSearch records up to date? Upload your Fraxinus collections ahead of the 31st October to be included in the report. If you have great Fraxinus photos that you would like to be included in the report get in touch


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New members


New patron member – Atlanta Botanical Garden 

BGCI is delighted to welcome Atlanta Botanical Garden as a Patron Member. As a Patron, Atlanta Botanical Garden joins a growing number of the world's largest and most influential botanic gardens and will play a key role in guiding BGCI's future programme. Find out more 


New Institutional members

Katala Foundation, Palawan, Philippines 

Historic Loveland Castle, Ohio, U.S. 

Donabo Botanical Gardens, Tangier, Morocco


New individual member 

Anne Louise Merrill, Tappan, New York State, U.S.


BGCI would also like to welcome back the following former members who have re-joined: 

Palmengarten der Stadt Frankfurt, Germany 

Botanischer Garten Innsbruck und Alpengarten Patcherkofel, Innsbruck, Austria 


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EUROGARD VIII – 8th European Botanic Gardens Congress: Botanic Gardens, People and Plants for a Sustainable World  will be held in Lisbon,  7th-11th May 2018. Registration and abstract submission are now open. Deadline for abstracts is 14th November 2017 Find out more


The 10th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens 

In conjunction with BGCI the University of Warsaw Botanic Garden will be hosting the 10th International Congress on Education on Botanic Gardens which is taking place on 10th-14th September 2018. The themes for the congress have been released and the call for abstracts opens in November.  We invite you all to join us for what we hope will be an exciting and interesting event. Find out more


Call to host the 11th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens in 2022 

BGCI has launched the call for proposals to host and co-organise the 11th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens in 2022. The congress brings together botanic garden educators from across the globe to share expertise, experience and information. With its global audience, hosting the congress provides an excellent opportunity to enhance the reputation of any garden. If your organisation is interested in hosting the next congress click here.


bgen Annual Conference: Growing Your Audience will be held in Dublin at The National Botanic Gardens Ireland, 8th – 10th November 2017 Find out more


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Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden launches second phase fundraising drive

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden has announced the fundraising campaign for the second phase of their development: the installation of our Research and Education Facilities accompanied by an intensive 5-year capacity building and research programme. The garden has appointed a new Director for International Development , Chris Woods, who will be working with them towards this important new milestone. Find out more