BGCI: Help needed for Zelkova action plan


BGCI have launched a project to produce a global action plan for the conservation of Zelkova species. This small genus is highly threatened in the wild so BGCI are encouraging people to get in touch if they can help (link to BGCI site).

Zelkova sicula

Zelcola sicula

Probably the rarest of the genus is Zelkova sicula. Recently discovered on Sicily the only known population consists of about 250 small individuals. It has entered the Red List as Critically Endangered. Photos © Antonietta Cristaudo


The genus Zelkova (Ulmaceae) comprises six species in the northern hemisphere: three in eastern Asia, one in western Asia, and two in the Mediterranean. The other Mediterranean species Z. abelicea is a threatened endemic from Crete.

IUCN suggest the Mediterranean trees may be relicts that may have been more widespread in the past but have suffered due to the over exploitation of their habitat (cork oak woodland). They are extremely susceptible to water stress, the fruit appears to be sterile, and in any case few flowering individuals have been seen in recent years. But BGCI are keen to get hold of more fundamental information to provide the foundations for this project, so are calling for help.

How you can help:

1. Upload your current plant records to the BGCI PlantSearch database

2. Sharing information in Zelkova conservation projects you are aware of

3. Sharing experiences of cultivation or propagation of Zelkova species

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