Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 14, pp 3501–3516 | Cite as

The intersection of conservation and horticulture: bird-pollinated Lotus species from the Canary Islands (Leguminosae)

  • Isidro OjedaEmail author
  • Arnoldo Santos-Guerra
Original Paper


This paper critically reviews the status of the “lotus vines” (Lotus section Rhyncholotus) in the wild and in cultivation. The literature concerning the conservation status of this group is scattered and in many places is not updated. Besides, the most recent efforts in conservation on this group have not been published in widely available sources and are mainly published in Spanish. Our aims in this paper are to compile the most recent information regarding the conservation status, studies on genetic diversity and the latest strategies for the conservation of this group. The four species are all critically endangered in the wild. Two species (Lotus berthelotii and L. maculatus) are widely cultivated in Europe and North America but the range of genotypes in cultivation is likely to be small, as the plants are propagated by cuttings. Hybrids between these two species are also in cultivation, and some have been patented. Commercial horticulture has considerable implications for overall conservation strategies, and these implications are discussed. We suggest that a circa situm conservation could improve the conservation strategies of these four species in the Canary Islands.


Canary Islands Circa situm conservation Endemic species Lotus Rhyncholotus 



I.O thanks a scholarship from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT) and for all the support and comments of Quentin Cronk during his PhD studies. We also thank the staff and the facilities of the Jardín de Aclimatación de la Orotova and Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo specially, Felicia Oliva, Ruth Jaén Molina and Juli Caujapé. Funding for field work was provided by the project No. RF2006-00030 from the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Biodiversity Research Centre, Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research and Department of BotanyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Jardín de Aclimatación de la OrotavaTenerifeSpain

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