Rare flower stolen from botanical garden in London

Rare Water Lily 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.