The copper flora of Katanga
Rare flora with the potential for soil remediation
Since 2007, Meise Botanic Garden has been a partner in the 'Copper Flora Biodiversity Program', an international project which aims to study the copper flora of Katanga (DRCongo). The ultimate goal is to grow enough plants to restore the ecosystem.
Moving these endangered species is very difficult, due to special ecological requirements and the scarcity of seed source populations. Low seed quality and insufficient knowledge of propagation methods further reduce the chances of success. The project addresses this issue: first, we determine the germination requirements of the species in the seed bank. Then we test the storage behaviour of the seeds and their dehydration tolerance after 6, 12, and 24 months of storage in the seed bank. Finally, we transfer some of the germinated plants to the nursery where we establish propagation guidelines for the future.