Edward Bok said, “Wherever your lives may be cast, make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.” One way we can do this is to help save rare species so future generations can discover their uses and their beauty. The Rare Plant Conservation Program is an expression of Bok Tower Gardens’ conservation mission and works to conserve and enhance our understanding of Florida’s rarest native plants.
Bok Tower Gardens is one of the 39 institutions that participate in the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC). The CPC is a national coalition dedicated to conserving and restoring the rare native plants of the United States of America.
Savannas Mint plants are listed as endangered by both the state and federal agencies. When we first got involved with this species in 2006, there were roughly 81 plants remaining in the one known natural population (since then it has declined to as few as eight plants). We took cuttings of the 81 plants and grew them in our National Collection Beds. This is a short-lived perennial, with each plant living from 1 to 3 or more years, so we maintain these original 81 plants by periodically cloning them through cuttings. Clones from cuttings of the National Collection Bed specimens are also used to introduce new populations on protected lands – last year, we introduced 990 plants into Savannas Preserve State Park, some of which were cuttings from our Collection specimens. On September 21st, for the final phase of this year’s plantings, we are introducing almost 800 plants from our planting beds.