Rare Hudson Valley Plant Discovered Growing After 100 Years
An extremely rare plant that was only known to exist in Dutchess County has now suddenly sprouted up in another New York location.
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission has announced the discovery of a rare plant that hasn’t been seen in the area since 1923. Botanists are giddy over finding the state-endangered Virginia Marbleseed growing in the wild among other plants. Until now, the only known living plants of this species have been 20 plants discovered by residents in various parts of Dutchess County.
The two new plants have suddenly popped up at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. It's unclear how they have suddenly grown after 100 years of being extinct from the region, but Botanist Jesse Hoffman calls the discovery an exciting find.
I’ve been searching for rare plants for most of my career and it tends not to be very gratifying. The nature of rare plants is that you almost never find them. To have discovered a state endangered species that hasn’t been seen in 100 years … it’s just amazing
The Virginia Marbleseed may not be the prettiest plant, but Hoffman says it has its own "charm". The plant can be identified by spiraling flower buds and its hard and shiny seeds. These white seeds look like a stone, which is why the plant is named "Marbleseed."
This discovery gives hope that the rare plant may be discovered in other areas of the Hudson Valley. Those weeds in your backyard may actually be plants in danger of extinction. Here's a video of what the Virginia Marbleseed looks like in the wild.
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is currently monitoring the new find and will be coordinating with the New York Natural Heritage Program to decide how to protect this rare plant.