Rare lily theft from Kew 'blow to morale' says horticulture director

Stolen lily
Stolen lily

A rare pygmy Rwandan water lily has been stolen from Kew Gardens.

Kew scientists are helping save the lily from extinction after it disappeared in the wild.
But a visitor has taken a nymphaea thermarum from a pond.

The plant is the world’s smallest water lily, about the size of a pound coin.

The lily went missing on 9 January from the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

Around 50 of the plants remain at Kew. Others are at the Bonn Botanic Gardens in Germany.

Director of horticulture Richard Barley said: "You can’t put a price on it by virtue of its rarity. It is a blow to morale. We take theft of our invaluable scientific collection of plants very seriously and this matter is with the police."


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