A very rare plant species thought to be extinct has been discovered in Knowsley.
Described as a “super duper beastie”, the rare thin-spiked wood sedge (carex strigosa) which has strap-shaped leaves and tiny white or brown flowers was discovered by botanist Joshua Styles.
Mr Styles, 26, who is the founder of Botany British and is part of the North West Rare Plant Initiative, said: “I thought I would have a rummage around The Old Wood near Halewood, which is an ancient, special woodland and I nearly had an aneurism!
“It was a really incredible find.”
Presumed extinct before the 1900s, ancient woodlands became damaged and trampled, which drove most of the rare plant’s decline.
Joshua said: “People see plants as static objects, but in reality, they are living, breathing creatures, which are just as vivacious and vibrant as any animal.
“They just move around at a slower space.”
Around 40% of the world’s pharmaceutical chemicals are isolated from plants and it is estimated that a major drug is lost every two years from plant extinction.
OH MY JESUS!!!!!
I’ve just found Thin-spiked Wood Sedge (Carex strigosa) in Halewood!! It’s been presumed extinct in Merseyside for OVER 100 YEARS!!!!! 🤯🎉 pic.twitter.com/YvoPJ36IAv
— Joshua Styles (@joshual951) February 6, 2022
“When plants disappear, it is not only bad for the ecosystems, but also the next cure for diabetes could also have done down the drain,” added Joshua.
The rare plant was located near a new housing development in Knowsley and has been logged with the council for protection.
An outflow pipe from the nearby development flows directly on to the area of the thin-spiked wood sedge, which means the plant must be moved.
Merseynewslive has approached Knowsley Council for comment.
Featured image photographed by Joshua Styles