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Plant poaching and black-market succulents

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Publisher: Bloombox Club
Bloombox Club


environment houseplants

You probably know animals are brutally killed for their hides and tusks, but have you heard of plant poaching? Reports of the phenomenon are on the rise as appetite for rare plants increases. Most of the plant community is an open and environmentally conscious place, but it has its dark side too!

Many of these rare succulents come from Central America and countries either side in North and South America. The Californian Department of Fish and Wildlife has raised concerns over an international black-market for succulents that threatens some varieties with extinction. 

A prime target for plant poachers,
Californian game warden Pat Freeling told the Guardian, is the Dudleya farinosa. These invaluable succulents, some of which are decades old, are taken from their natural habitat and shipped to China and Korea, where they are unlikely to survive for long. 

In 2014, a large-scale, targeted heist at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens made headlines when 24 endangered Cycads were uprooted - 22 of which were critically endangered.

Cycads are among the oldest plants on Earth. They grow slowly and require particular conditions to repopulate naturally, which is why they need protection - and why they're valuable. The Cycas revoluta, one of our popular shop and previous subscription plants, is in this family, but ours have been carefully sourced from South American plant nurseries who grow Cycads from offsets. 

Naturally, Bloombox Club is sympathetic to the craze for exotic plants, but never at the cost of the natural environment from which they come. Read more about how we defend against sustainability issues in the plant world here

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