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Drone finds & # 39; Hibiscadelphus Woodii & # 39; Flower that was considered extinct on Hawaiian Cliff Face




(Newser)

A drone near a Hawaiian cliff discovered something that the world thought was gone: a flower. And it was not even in bloom. In January, the aviator Ben Nyberg observed with drones three Hibiscadelphus woodii plants on a cliff where specialists are known to rappel vertical faces for endangered plant species National Geographic . But these were more than 500 feet below a ridge where even the brave National Tropical Botanical Garden researchers had not gone. And the striking yellow flowers of the plants, which later turn violet, had not come out yet. "We were hoping to catch it in bloom, but at the time it did not flourish," says Nyberg.

H. woodii was officially discovered in 1

991, was given a name in 1995 and is considered to be long gone by 2016. Scientists tried to resuscitate the species with cuttings, grafting and cross-pollination, but nothing worked. Then came Nyberg, the drone specialist of NTBG, who searches the cliffs of the Kalalau Valley on Kaua'i for a unique flora. NTBG has been using drones for two and a half years to explore the area, and now wants drones to collect plant cuttings. With a little luck you can expect other great finds. "Drones open a treasure chest of unexplored cliff habitats, and although this may be the first such discovery, I'm sure it will not be the last," Nyberg says in a press release. (Read more flower stories.)

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