Saving the rose daphne

There is still hope that rose daphne survives in Poland. If this happens, it will be also due to the foresters. You can read about this rescue operation in “Echa Leśne”.
04.05.2017 | KRZYSZTOF KAMIńSKI

There is still hope that rose daphne survives in Poland. If this happens, it will be also due to the foresters. You can read about this rescue operation in “Echa Leśne”.

Krzysztof Kamiński in the article „Rose Daphne to the Rescue” explains that this plant is one of the European species endangered by extinction. And he adds that the foresters from the Sandomierz Forest have been striving to save it for three consecutive years.
Although at the beginning of the 20th century, this shrub was quite common in the meadows of the Kielce Uplands, the Lublin Uplands and the Sandomierz Basin, today it is very rare.

In the Kolbuszowa Forest District (RDSF in Krosno), as explained by the author of the text, there are small, not over half a square meter, sites of this plant. However, not far away, on the military training ground in Nowa Dęba, there were noticed many more, whole fields in clumps of about one square meter each.

In 2003 Bartłomiej Peret, supervisor of the Kolbuszowa Forest District, and Zdzislaw Bednarz from the Agricultural University in Cracow described in "Rocznik Dendrologiczny” the site of rose daphne which has been unknown so far in the Kolbuszowa Plateau.

At that time, in the Forest Arboretum named after prof. Stefan Białobok at the Syców Forest District, a programme was developed in order to restore protected plants to their natural habitats. Part of the project is the restoration of the rose daphne. When the employees of this unit were looking for this plant at the military training camp in Nowa Dęba, they learned about the discovery of the foresters from Kolbuszowa.

With the consent of the minister of the environment, they took cuttings from daphne’s stems - a few pieces from the vicinity of Kolbuszowa and from the range of military training area. By using the appropriate method, they propagated the seedlings in pots in order to return the plant to the selected, most favorable places - describes the beginnings of cooperation Krzysztof Kamiński.

In Poland, only a few original sites of this plant have been preserved and now it remains under strict protection. In the Polish Red  Data Book of Plants (2001 and 2014) it was classified as a critically endangered species.

As part of the project, in 2015, the arboretum and the forest district Staff selected for planting a suitable, well sunlit part of  ecological utility land on a dune shaft.
In April of the same year, 300 seedlings of 20 cm in height were planted in three clamps in substitute sites located nearby their two natural habitats.

The location of each individual was precisely described using a GPS. For protection from pests the plantation was surrounded by a fence, however it was not signposted in order not to tempt the collectors. Propagation work was supervised by the employees of the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Rzeszów.

This rare plant is threatened by extinction also in Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Belarus. If our foresters did not make the effort in time, it could it could disappear from the Polish forest landscape completely – points out the author of “Saving the rose daphne”.