It’s been just reported that one of the very first recorded species that have been lost to forestry and agriculture in the Western Cape in the 1800s – this is a type of fountain bush from the pea family that used to grow very close to mountain streams in the Tulbagh region.
A student found the extinct species
According to Phys.org, “Psoralea cataracta was discovered by Brian du Preez, a Ph.D. student in botany at the University of Cape Town.”
On October 24, he stumbled upon a population on a narrow track that’s close to a river.
The species has been only known from a single specimen that’s been collected from Tulbagh waterfall back in 1804, 2008, and then it eventually became extinct.
Preez said, “As soon as I saw those delicate thread-like flower stalks, I knew it was Psoralea cataracta.”
His supervisor, Charles Stirton, an international specialist, confirmed everything and said the following:
“For me, the definitive characteristics are the remarkable stipules, very long filiform pedicels, and the unique flower color. This is a very important find as it shows how the Cape is still relatively unexplored in many mountainous areas.”
He continued and said: “Given than many of the Cape Flora only come up briefly after fires, fading quickly, and that sometimes these fires are irregular, the chances of being in an area at the right time is slim. Well done to Brian for a wonderful find,”
Experts agreed that the finding is important
More experts agreed that this was an extraordinary finding. For instance, Ismail Ebrahim, who is a project manager at CREW, also acknowledged the finding and said that it’s pretty uncommon to find a properly extinct species.
The student is currently building up a huge reputation for finding lost species just like the one mentioned above.
In order to find out more details about the subject, we recommend that you head over to the website of Phys.org.