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BNPS.co.uk (01202) 558833<br />
Picture: Peter Willows<br />
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The multi-agency search team (l-r) Dorset Wildlife, Naural England, Dorset Environmental Record centre, The National Trust, National Museum of Wales.<br />
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A crack multi-agency search party descended on a secret location near Weymouth yesterday in a search for one of Britains rarest plants - after a 16 year conservation plan has finally rescued it from danger.<br />
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The botanists hailed the success of the painstaking project to save a Wild Asparagus plant, dubbed the loneliest plant in Britain after being found growing without a mate on Portland Bill in Dorset in 1997, from dying out after they mated it with a partner from 175 miles away. <br />
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The female plant produced 60 seeds which were carefully propagated in a greenhouse and then planted back on Portland bill. Out of the original plants, 51 are thriving today and 11 of them - seven males and four females - have now flowered for the first time.<br />
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Experts from the National Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the National Museum of Wales took part in the painstaking search for the tiny plants.