After completing my drawings for my animals and threats i had a tutorial with Marianne in which we discussed what type of vegetation i would use to surround my images, in keeping with the toile theme.

It was brought to my attention this was an opportunity for me to depict plants that were also now extinct, thus i decided to go away and research into trees, and flowers that have become extinct within the last century.

Like a lot of plant life, there are specimens held in controlled locations, in labs or in places like the Eden project. But there are many plant species that are what is called “extinct in the wild” meaning that they no longer naturally grow.

However even through controlled cultivation trees and plants can still become extinct. The st Helena olive is one such tree, by 1994 the st helena olive was extinct in the wild, and by 2004 the last in cultivation died. The St. Helena Olive was threatened by felling for timber and to make way for plantations, and the grazing of introduced goats.

I chose to show this plant over the others because i feel it adequately conveys the issue i’m trying to address. Human interference made numbers of this species dwindle, and despite our best efforts to reproduce this plant, and produce seedlings, it simply didn’t survive, the st helena olive is 99% incompatible, meaning it couldnt seed with itself or closely related individuals and because it needed the specific climate that we stole from it in order to allow it to naturally reproduce, the recreation simply wasn’t equivalent.

http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/nesiota-elliptica-st-helena-olive

http://www.arkive.org/st-helena-olive/nesiota-elliptica/

http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct/speciesinfo/sainthelenaolive.htm

http://www.tentree.com/blog/ten-fascinating-extinct-trees/

http://www.arkive.org/explore/species/plants-and-algae/extinct

http://eol.org/search?q=extinct+plants&search=Go&search_log_id=161190

 

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