Tropical Britain

EX SITU CONSERVATION


From the very beginning, Tropical Britain has been maintaining an ex situ conservation programme for rare or endangered plants.

Our main focus are plants that are on the IUCN Red List as Endangered or Vulnerable. We have had continuing success in particular with Puya castellanosii (IUCN Red List - Endangered) and Arum purpureospathum (IUCN Red List - Vulnerable).


Puya castellanosii

Puya castellanosii

Arum purpureospathum

Arum purpureospathum


We are also engaged in a conservation programme for Agave cupreata, a tender Agave that is used extensively in artisanal Mezcal. In the Mexican states of Guerrero and Michoacán many large specimens of Agave cupreata are harvested straight from the wild. A non-offsetting Agave, it relies entirely on seed dispersal for reproduction but it is precisely as the flowering spike is being produced - when sugar content is highest - that Mezcaleros prefer to harvest. As the global market for Mezcal has accelerated enormously over the last few years, the outlook for Agave cupreata has worsened and only organised replanting programmes by responsible Mezcaleros will ensure the survival of the species and a sustainable supply for the Mezcal industry. 


Agave cupreata

Agave cupreata


Botanical gardens who would like to participate and acquire plants to further this work are encouraged to contact us here

You can follow our conservation work on Twitter here