Jara de Cartagena

Oceanogràfic de València and Generalitat Valenciana recovering the most endangered plant of spanish flora.

Jara de Cartagena story

In 1986, the plant Cistus heterophyllus subsp. Carthaginensis, also known in Spanish as the Jara de Cartagena, was discovered in Valencia after 29 years believing it was extinct from Iberian flora.
Unlike other plants, Cistus heterophyllus subsp. carthaginensis needs another individual to interbreed in order to have descendants and it is the only known plant in this sense. Its extinction seemed inevitable.

This is the story of the effort to avoid it becoming extinct.
Once it was recognised as a CRITICALLY ENDANGERED PLANT in several national and regional catalogues, different ways of conserving and recovering it began to be investigated.

In the 90s, IN VITRO cloning was carried out, from which genetically identical CLONES were obtained, but they were not able to reproduce, as well as having undesirable mutations.
Surprisingly in May 2012 something quite unexpected happened: the Valencian plant produced a unique fruit with 3 seeds of which 2 germinated.

In Autumn of the same year, when visiting the wild plant, it was observed that a branch was broken and it was used to prepare cuttings, from which another 5 CLONES were obtained, but this time without any mutations.

In 2013, the plant produced 28 fruits, with a hundred seeds, 15 of which germinated and new plants were grown.

The first COMPLETELY VIABLE generation of plants was obtained from the cuttings and seed germination. This was the base to recover the species and create new populations.

Nowadays, some of these plants can be seen at Oceanogràfic which PRODUCES SEEDS that are then used to introduce plants in the natural environment.