Smallest Waterlily Saved from Extinction

May 20, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Carlos Magdalena, a Senior Botanical Tropical Horticulturist at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew holds a 'Nymphaea Thermarum' waterlily, the smallest waterlily species in the world with pads as small as 1cm in diameter, in amongst Victoria waterlilies,  (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Carlos Magdalena, a Senior Botanical Tropical Horticulturist at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew holds a 'Nymphaea Thermarum' waterlily, the smallest waterlily species in the world with pads as small as 1cm in diameter, in amongst Victoria waterlilies, (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
The smallest waterlily in the world has been saved from extinction by experts at U.K.'s Royal Botanic Gardens.

Native to the hot springs of Rwanda, the lily, which is just a centimeter wide, went extinct in the wild two years ago.

Using a handful of lily seeds, horticulturist Carlos Magdalena, managed to grow the lilies in conditions similar to its native hot springs, using a German description of their natural habitat according to The Press Association.

It took the horticulturist months to find out the right conditions for growth. While other species of water lilies start to grow from deep in the water, he discovered that the small lily needed the CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the air to grow.

Magdalena said he hopes that the lily will once again grow in the hot springs of Rwanda.

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