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Rare flower stolen from botanical garden in London

Rare Water Lily Stolen From Botanical Garden In London

Police in London are searching for whoever stole one of the world's rarest plants from a botanical garden.

An unknown thief made off with an African water lily informally known as the pygmy Rwandan water lily from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Garden officials noticed it was missing Thursday and called authorities.

The small plant is almost extinct in the wild and Kew gardens is one of only two places that houses it.

Authorities believe the thief dug it out or pulled it from the temperature-controlled mud that it needs to survive. It's small size might have made it easier to sneak out of the garden.

The water lily's flower barely grows bigger than a fingernail and it's lily pads can measure as little as one centimeter.

The plant was first discovered in the 1980s in Rwanda - the only known location in the wild.

Although a few more have been found in that area, it's still considered to be on the brink of extinction.

The Kew Gardens website explains there is no common name for the plant because of its rarity. An investigation is underway.

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Vernalisa January 15 2014 at 9:34 PM

Big award is needed to get it back.That is awful I wonder if the person who stole it know the valve ?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Butch January 15 2014 at 6:24 PM

One would think the field is fairly narrow for a rare lily theft. Easy enough to check for the lily amongst collectors.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
loutonto January 15 2014 at 5:20 PM

If it was close to extinction in Rwanda before, it'll now be extinct soon, thanks to this media coverage. Prediction: Rwandans will see this story and then rush off to find, pick and sell the very last flowers and plants they can find. Highest bidder, no questions asked.

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purpledoves69 January 16 2014 at 2:48 AM

Don't they have security cameras? I would think that they would so people won't pick flowers too, just in case. I am sure this person knew what this plant was and hope he has not killed it in transport. Sad that people are like this and ruin things that are there for ALL to enjoy. Now they will start to have screenings or bars so you can't get close to the plants and alarms if you step into an area too close and such. Some people ruin things in life when it should be easy, rotten of them.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
loni January 15 2014 at 4:33 PM

Where was security for this priceless flower?

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markkreutzer January 16 2014 at 5:10 AM

If it is so rare why was it not placed in a more secure area?

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hattie54 January 15 2014 at 12:56 PM

I was here 13 some years ago and loved Kew Gardens.I would love to go back and smell the big stinky flowers.:)

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Irish January 15 2014 at 6:40 PM

God'll get him/her ! Maybe not today or even next week, nor next year, but, he will get them: whoever took the flower. When you steal, you can't show it, can't share it, so why steal it! Does anyone agree with me?

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1 reply
gmgpjandon Irish January 15 2014 at 10:34 PM

Yes, unless the item is edible.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Terry January 15 2014 at 12:25 PM

People will steal anything without regard to making sure the delicate little plant will survive and not be seen by many, just themselves.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
LILYANNE January 16 2014 at 1:34 AM


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