Endangered endemic flower of Pitcairn on stamp

In February 2011, Pitcairn Island issued a new stamp depicting an endangered endemic flower, the Yellow fautu (Abutilon pitcairnense).

A stamp depicting the Yellow Fautu (Abutilon pitcairnense) Photo: Pitcairn Islands

The Yellow Fautu was first discovered on Pitcairn in 1934 by two American botanists, H. St. John and F. R. Fosberg on an expedition from Honolulu. For many years the plant was presumed extinct until C.Warren, a Pitcairn resident discovered it as a flowering specimen in mixed native forest in 2002.

Since then the Irish botanists N.Smyth and S.Waldren have been carrying out a conservation project, which will ensure a long-term survival of the Yellow fautu and its restoration. Clonal material and seeds have been produced on Pitcairn Island and at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland in Glasnevin, Dublin. The Dublin seedlings are being genetically analysed for diversity and variation. Seedlings will be reintroduced on the island if they are variable. A clonal population has been planted at Big Rock near Pulau on Pitcairn Island.

For more information, please contact Dr N.Smyth or Ms M.Christian.

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