Saturday, November 28, 2009

plants without borders

Plants without borders: An interview with Sara Redstone by Nicola Twilley.

Bay leaves showing symptoms of infection
When visiting the excellent BLDG BLOG this morning I came upon a most interesting and lengthy post that's worth reading if interested in plant quarantine and the complex issue of species being threatened by imported pests. In a global economy of trading, travel and transport across borders plants dont have passports saying for example they're from China when they are shipped from The Netherlands into the UK - problems can result. Trading is often put before quarantine!.
Sarah Redstone is Plant Health and Quarantine Officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, UK - home of the world's largest collection of living plants. In addition to screening and isolating all incoming and outbound plant material, she is currently overseeing the design and construction of a new quarantine facility for the gardens.
She warns the public of the risks involved in moving plants around - bringing things back from holidays, especially smuggling things in from abroad. Wax candles, a jar of honey, a wooden sculpture also have the potential to become problematic. Campaigns to increase public awareness are timely and Redstone hopes once people understand they will heed the message "as we all share the same planet".
BLDG BLOG: architectural conjecture, urban speculation and landscape futures - written by Geoff Manaugh and the sister site: edible geography by Nicola Twilley
below: Electron micro images of seeds. Lamourousia viscosa (bottom) Franklin's sandwort (top) conserved at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank.


Four Seasons in a Life said...

This has been on incredible find!

Not just for the story, considering I am growing a bay leaf tree from a seed and it is now about 5 inches tall, but also for the wealth of resources on their sidebar.

One can spend not hours but days that turn into weeks at this blog.

Thank you for sharing Sophie.

Have a grand weekend,

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Egmont,
Its quite an amazing blog as you much to research that is critically relevant and future oriented - it certainly serves as a broad-reaching stimulant to stretch one's concept of what is possible and what is necessary to move forward.
And its been going 5 lots to investigate!
Hope youv'e had a most pleasant Thanks-giving holiday Egmont.

em said...

sophie, i love the seed images. they remind me a bit of your art.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Em,
They are intriguing images yes! I'm a bit amazed by the bottom one.
Have been back in the Seed Lab (funded by Kew Garden's Millenium Seed bank Project in the past month).
Have not yet even looked under the microscope. Too engrossed in what I've been doing - learning all sorts of things from having an excellent facilitator /tutor on hand.
The process - which you are no doubt very familiar with given your science bent - of picking up plants, examining stems, roots, leaves, pods, capsules,then the seeds and then the seeds within seeds that exist in some cases... one gets a sense of the wondrousness of the macro/micro as each layer is revealed.
Some days counting seeds ready to weigh and package to send off to Kew is almost impossible they are so fine.
I loved you images you have just posted....amazing EM!
Hope you are all rested from your special Thanks giving holiday.

steve said...

Really interesting post and i love these images.
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