Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 14:56 UK

Beach appearance for rare plant

Sea Pea at Dundee Botanic Garden
The purple flowers will come out in the coming weeks

A rare wildflower is to be planted in the sands of Broughty Ferry, as part of efforts to improve the number of threatened plants across Scotland.

The Sea Pea project was launched in the run up to 2007's Open Championship.

It was feared a hovercraft to the golf competition in Carnoustie would destroy the Sea Peas at the beach.

The idea was they were to be grown at Dundee's Botanic Garden then replanted after the contest. However, the hovercraft was not used at the Open.

It was then decided to transfer the Sea Pea to the nature reserve at Broughty Ferry instead.

The Sea Pea is a green legume with purple flowers.

Alasdair Hood, Curator of the Botanic Garden, told BBC Scotland's news website that growing the plants was no easy task.

This international initiative is trying to make sure botanic gardens are actively conserving our own endangered native flora
Alasdair Hood
Dundee Botanic Garden

He said: "It needs sandy soil, beach conditions really.

"We're trying to grow it in sand that we have legally collected from a beach quarry near Carnoustie, because it needs that kind of condition in order for it to grow.

"So far we're quite excited that it's actually growing reasonably well on the site we've prepared for it."

The planting of the Sea Pea is part of a wider global strategy for plant conservation.

At the Botanic Garden staff are particularly focussed on protecting native Scottish plants which are under threat.

Mr Hood said: "We're very guilty sometimes of conserving plants from all other parts of the world, but this international initiative is trying to make sure botanic gardens are actively conserving our own endangered native flora."


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