Plant at risk of extinction found at Albany Pine Bush

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Virginia marbleseed found at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve

Virginia marbleseed found at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Photo courtesy of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)-A state-endangered plant not seen in close to 100 years was found in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The finding of Virginia marbleseed was announced by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) Tuesday.

Virginia marbleseed (Lithospermum virginianum), had been found in the “Karner” hamlet of Albany up until 1923. Two plants were found in an area that has undergone habitat management in recent years. There are currently 22 plants statewide, APBPC said.

The plant makes seeds that resemble stones, which is why the name “marbleseed” came to be.

“I’ve been searching for rare plants for most of my career and it tends not to be very gratifying. The nature of rare plants is that you almost never find them. To have discovered a state endangered species that hasn’t been seen in 100 years … it’s just amazing”.

Albany Pine Bush Preserve Steward and Botanist Jesse Hoffman

“It definitely has a certain charm. The spiraling flower buds and long styles look unusual and that coupled with the leaf venation make the plant stand out,” said Albany Pine Bush Preserve Steward and Botanist Jesse Hoffman.

“This further emphasizes the reasons why the Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area and Bird Conservation Area, and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. The preserve is important to plant and animal species on local, state, national, and global levels,” said Executive Director, Christopher Hawver.

More information on the Virginia marbleseed plant can be found on the Albany Pine Bush website as well as information on the Discovery Center and visiting hours.

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