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Every December has its hard-to-find treasure—a toy or game that captures the zeitgeist and flies off the shelves. In the past several years, one holiday symbol has become increasingly scarce: Frankincense, the original Christmas gift, the one that preceded them all. The aromatic resin became embedded in Christmas tradition when, according to the apostle Matthew, the Biblical Magi brought gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold to a Bethlehem nativity. 
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The Marshall strawberry: A bit of horticulture history that would make a great gift! Once abundant in the Pacific Northwest and praised as "the finest eating strawberry in America," the Marshall strawberry is today very rare. Now an artist in Indiana has begun an effort to revive the berry, offering starter plants in hand-sewn containers.  
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A rare, endemic daisy-like wildflower was named after a local botanist in Oregon—now, a forest road could threaten one of its two habitats. Look for Veva's Erigeron on your next hike!
A dual exhibition at Kew Botanical Gardens features Plants in Peril and Losing Paradise, showing illustrations of endangered plants through the world. The exhibition closes March 18, 2012, so go see it if you can!
If you're the type of person to travel the world for its flora, grab your favorite Indian Ocean field guide and head to Socotra, a remote island that is home to the legendary dragon's blood tree. 

 

Related Topics: Ideas | Brown | Green | botanic notables | endangered | Travel | Trees
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An exhibit at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh documents the success of a project called extInked. A social experiment and an ecological initiative, the project paired one hundred of the country's threatened flora, fauna, and fungi with volunteers that would become ambassadors for their species, with a tattoo to prove it.