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Request for Information: Parasitic Plants

27 January 2011

Alex Summers from Kew writes:

'I am a horticultural student at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. I am currently undertaking research for my dissertation which is focused on parasitic plants and their cultivation. This group are rarely grown and I am very interested in compiling cultivation information for these plants. I intend to use this to consider the potential for greater inclusion of parasitic plants in ex-situ collections. I am interested in the facilities and difficulties that may prohibit their cultivation. Together with this I am trying to compile four case study genera/species which outline their merits for inclusion in collections, each highlighting a different value, these are:

- Rafflesia (any species) (financial value - increase visitors to gardens and conservation value)
- Rhinanthus (any species) (interpretation value - ecological role of parasites)
- Santalum album (interpretation value - ethnobotany of species)
- Castelleja (horticultural value)

'I am therefore writing to seek any help that can be offered on the topic of parasitic plant cultivation. As the literature on this subject is so scant anything would be of great value to me.

Alex Summers (Kew Diploma Student)

School of Horticulture
Horticulture and Public Experience Dept.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
United Kingdom

T: +44(0)20 8332 5545
F: +44(0)20 8332 5574




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