Home 9 Blog 9 PBR International & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Kick Some Cloning Butt!

PBR International & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Kick Some Cloning Butt!

First ever successful rooting of the South African critically endangered Brackenridgea Zanguebarica (‘Yellow Peeling Plain Tree’) during cloning trials at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Successful trials in propagating Brackenridgea Zanguebarica aka Mutavhatsindi tree

The horticulturists at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens came to PBR International with a rooting problem that they were facing for many years. See, years ago the team came across a rare Brackeridgea tree (a.k.a Mutavhatsindi in Tshivenda) in Limpopo that they had been struggling to clone since its discovery.

In 2020 Gabayi, conservation horticulturist and tree expert from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, highlighted the severity of threats to the Mutavhatsindi tree’s existence in South Africa, as none had been successfully propagated before. They only exist in a small 110-hectare subpopulation in Mutavhantsindi Nature Reserve where they are favoured for their medicinal benefits and are therefore heavily harvested. The Mutavhatsindi, scientifically known as Brackenridgea Zanguebarica, is a species of tree that has been under extreme threat due to the harmful harvesting of mature tree parts, which inevitably resulted in the poor regeneration of the new generations of trees.

Mutavhatsindi is highly sought after for its medicinal bark and roots, and traditional healers use the yellow dye to treat wounds, worms, aching hands, swollen ankles, and amenorrhea. Due to its severe rarity and limited occurrence, the tree is currently categorized as Critically Endangered on the Red List of South African Plants,” explains Gabayi, who says that the Mutavhatsindi tree was propagated successfully after experimenting with many different propagation methods.

(PBR) International teamed up with the SANBI team and other institutions, and suggested the use of our Dip&Root Rooting hormones as well as the DynaBalls, and to their great surprise, they saw root formation right before their very own eyes!

Successful trials in propagating Brackenridgea Zanguebarica aka Mutavhatsindi tree

All the propagation methods tested had not shown any promising results. However, through the manipulation of Plant Growth Regulators, such as Dip & Root, and using the air layering method and DynaBall, positive results were obtained.”

Through a successful procedure of air layering and using top quality & advanced propagation products, new trees can be grown from branches that are still attached to the parent plant.

Air layering and Dynaball to successfully propagate trees

Air layering and Dynaball used to successfully propagate trees

These saplings of propagated trees will be used to establish ex situ collections and more propagation research trials at Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, as well as Limpopo’s Thohoyandou National Botanical Garden. The overall success of this project contributes to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; making 20% of threatened plant species available for recovery programmes, and at least 75% available in the country of origin.

The trials that Kirstenbosch Gardens are performing are an ongoing process, so we can’t wait to hear back from them with more feedback. But, for now, this is a great win for both Kirstenbosch Gardens and PBR International!

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