Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanical Garden near London, reports that one of their extremely rare and valuable miniature water lilies has been stolen.
The lily, the tiniest in the world, would likely be extinct had the garden’s horticulturalists not coaxed 50 seeds back to life by simulating the exact conditions it requires. Lily Nypaea Thremarum was native to a lake in Rwanda but none are growing there anymore after water was diverted to a farm. The lily pad is as small as a half inch in diameter.
The culprits pulled or dug the plant out of the display area in the center of the conservatory. Garden officials are concerned because the thieves will likely not be able to keep the plant alive. The London Metropolitan police are on the case.
Theft of plants is commonly referred to as “finger blight” by gardeners.