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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 12:56 GMT
Long-lost Chinese plant is found
Paraisometrum mileense
The paraisometrum mileense was rediscovered after 100 years
Scientists in West Sussex are working to preserve the seeds of a rare Chinese plant rediscovered after 100 years.

Chinese seed collectors found the small, yellow-flowered paraisometrum mileense growing in Yunnan Province in South West China.

Its seeds will now be preserved in China for conservation and research.

Botanists are investigating its evolution so it is never lost again, said a spokesman for the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place, Ardingly.

A living collection of the plant, which was last found growing in its native habitat in 1906, is also being introduced into a botanic garden in China.

Experts feared it had died out.

"It is greatly encouraging for botanists and conservationists to rediscover a species thought to be extinct in the wild," said Jie Cai, co-ordinator of the Chinese seed collection at Wakehurst.

"It provides an important opportunity for people to find out more about the plant's evolution, conservation and potential uses."

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