Wild asparagus gets some help in Wales

May 31, 2006

Botanists in Wales have been doing some matchmaking, introducing a lonely female to a fertile male in an effort to help propagate rare wild asparagus.

The female wild asparagus was the only one left in Dorset and faced a barren future until a fertile Cornish male was found 175 miles along the coast near Cadgwith, icwales reported Wednesday.

Botanists from the National Trust and the National Museum of Wales introduced the pair by taking several shoots from the male plant, transporting them to Dorset for their first "kiss."

The matchmakers then waited until the female plant bloomed and then rubbed their flowers together to transfer pollen.

Scientists told icwales they hope the union will bear fruit by late August or early September in the form of glossy red berries. Birds and small mammals will then eat the berries, dispersing seeds and helping propagate the rare asparagus that's protected under the United .Kingdom's Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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