A rare plant long forgotten to the Capital Region has been discovered, for the first time in 100 years, in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission announced that two individual Virginia Marbleseed plants were spotted in the preserve bringing the statewide population to 22 of the plants also known as Lithospermum Virginianum.
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This is a really exciting find! I’ve been searching for rare plants for most of my career and it tends not to be very gratifying. The nature of rare plants is that you almost never find them. To have discovered a state endangered species that hasn’t been seen in 100 years … it’s just amazing. - Albany Pine Bush Preserve Steward and Botanist Jesse Hoffman
The Virginia Marbleseed plant was last documented in the Capital Region in the 1920's. According to the Albany Pine Bush Facebook page, this isn't a showy plant when in bloom. but does have a certain charm with spiraling flower buds and long styles. The name "marbleseed" comes from the hard, shiny, white seeds that the plant produces which resemble the stone.
I find it remarkable that the plants were found at all. Think about any hike you have taken and the number of different plants that you pass by or your dog relieves himself on. Obviously you and I aren't trained to spot species like this but to find something that has been gone for 100 years is remarkable.
For a complete list of New York's endangers plants check with the states Department of Environmental Conservation.

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