MAY 08, 2017 9:24 AM PDT

Irreplaceable Rare Flowers Destroyed By Paperwork Accident in Australia

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

From time to time, plant experts save small vacuum-packed specimens of plants to preserve their structures well beyond the time nature would allow. Doing so allows for future visual observations without the fear of decay ruining the specimens.

If the preserved daisy samples had survived, they would have looked similar to this preserved specimen.

Image Credit: Natural History Museum

It’s also pretty common for those specimens to get shipped from one place to another so that scientific comparisons can be made with other species around the world.

On the other hand, just because specimens are packaged for safe keeping doesn’t mean they’re immune to accidental circumstances, as a somewhat disappointing story in Australia will soon explain.

A set of rare pressed daisy specimens were collected from France in the 1850’s and were being kept safe for future scientific examination and comparisons, but unfortunately they didn’t survive through the shipping process from one country to another to tell the tale.

An inadvertent paperwork mix-up led to the incineration of the daisy specimens, and now they’re gone forever and irreplaceable. Several reports say the paperwork that came with them was missing bits and pieces of information that are required by import regulations.

Related: Say hello to the world's oldest plant fossil

“They were the first type specimens collected of a species,” Michelle Waycott, chair of the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, said in a statement to ABC News. “So literally irreplaceable collections and of high historic and scientific value...it may have a major impact on our ability to do our research.”

This is the reportedly the second time an incident like this took place in Australia, as another rare plant specimen was also recently destroyed due paperwork discrepancies in just months of time.

In response, a spokesperson of the organization responsible for overseeing the biosecurity agency that incinerated the daisy specimens had this to say:

"The department acknowledges the significant value as a botanical reference collection. The destruction of the specimens should not have proceeded while communication between the department and the intended recipient was ongoing."

The issue highlights the importance of having the proper paperwork attached to plants when sending them abroad, as anything that doesn’t comply with local laws can be destroyed.

Of course, had the biosecurity agency have taken the steps to prevent the incineration, or returned the shipment back to where it came, the sad circumstances surrounding this incident probably never would have happened.

Source: ABC News

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 23, 2020
These Monkeys Help Wild Deer Avoid Predators
There can be power in numbers, and deer are keenly aware of this. The bulk of wild deer like to travel in large herds be ...
MAR 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 24, 2020
This Beetle Climbs Tall Trees to Toss Others Over the Edge
Different animals exhibit all kinds of different behaviors when searching for mates in the wilderness, but perhaps one o ...
APR 28, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
APR 28, 2020
Evolution Observed in Fish in a Single Generation
In a five year study, scientists have now shown that stickleback fish were able to alter some of their traits within a s ...
MAY 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 07, 2020
Your Night Light Could Be a Glowing Plant
Glowing plants light themselves up House plants are not just decorations: thanks to science, they might become a part of ...
MAY 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 12, 2020
It's Not a Choice - Cats Need Meat
While you or I might have the freedom of deciding between a carnivorous diet or going all out vegetarian, not all a ...
MAY 15, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 15, 2020
How breathable are our changing oceans?
A study from researchers at the University of Washington examines the breathability of the California Current, the cool, ...
Loading Comments...