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World’s smallest water lily stolen from Kew Gardens pond

Police are appealing for information after a rare plant was stolen from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (Picture: Metropolitan Police) Police are appealing for information after a rare plant was stolen from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Monday, January 13, 2014
3:12 PM

Officers have launched an appeal to trace a rare plant stolen from a lily pond at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew where the species was saved.

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Officers say the plant was taken from the south west London gardens last Thursday (Picture: Metropolitan Police)Officers say the plant was taken from the south west London gardens last Thursday (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said at some time between 8.30am and 2.55pm on Thursday, January 9 the ‘Nymphaea Thermarum’ was stolen from the Princess of Wales Conservatory at the south west London landmark.

He said police have been informed that the plant, the world’s smallest water lily, would have had to have been dug, or pulled up, from a shallow water lily pond.

Its pads measure only 1cm across, compared with the largest water lily which can reach 3m wide. The destruction of its habitat meant all examples in the wild were lost, but was saved from extinction when it was grown from seed at Kew in 2009.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the CID at Richmond-Upon-Thames Borough on 020 8721 5934.

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