Nepenthes edwardsiana, one of the rare, insect-eating pitcher plants from the high mountains of Borneo.
The Yellow Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia flava is almost extinct in Virginia. Several Sarracenia are endangered.
Our overall vision for Charlottesville Botanical Garden (CBG) includes the philosophy that a botanical garden should serve the community and the people outside our community. It should also incorporate a mission which will expand the interest and value of the facility into a treasure of natural history.
CBG is envisioned to contain a series of engaging gardens, greenhouses and a conservatory. These components are meant to be beautiful and educational in their design. Here, people can see plants which have never been displayed before, gardens which spark the imagination, awaken curiosity and remind us that an amazing natural world exists outside our doors. Children and adults could learn while experiencing a truly wondrous place of natural beauty, an example of how humanity and nature can cooperate for a better world. Researchers and educators would find CBG a fantastic resource.
We all are aware of the plights threatening habitats worldwide. Many of these places will vanish in our lifetimes, taking with them animals and plants which the world may never see again. To protect and preserve nature's diversity requires all of us to help. CBG, by actually growing and displaying rare and endangered plants, hopes to dampen the sting of extinction. Not only will gene pools (actual plants) be preserved, but compassion and support for habitat protection will be increased. An example would be pass-through grants to organizations like the Nature Conservancy.
One of the most engaging, beautiful and vanishing group of plants are the Pitcher Plants. By some estimates, less than 5% of original habitats remain, especially in the U.S.A.; here, inexpensive wetlands have been drained for agriculture or development. In the tropics, vast areas of Nepenthes (Tropical Pitcher Plants) habitat are lost due to human destruction, invasive species competition and climate change. The genus Nepenthes includes over one hundred species, some have only recently been discovered.
CBG will have the opportunity to obtain, preserve and display these along with other threatened plants. There is no substitute for natural habitats; CBG aspires to limit gene pool loss while showcasing and educating the public about the marvelous flora on this planet.