Save 20 in 2020


Kew Interior
Grey paper 1

Herbal Essences joins forces with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to help save endangered plants from extinction through seed banking.

Endangered plants need our help - now more than ever.

Plants are the backbone of the world’s ecosystems, underpinning all the life on Earth and providing us with the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat.

However, experts now predict that one in five plant species is at risk of extinction. This means that plants are vanishing two times faster than animals.

Herbal Essences wants to change that. We want to act now. Which is why we’ve partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to help protect some of the most threatened and endangered plant species.

The loss of biodiversity and the threat of plant extinction exists everywhere, even in our own backyards. But it can be controlled and prevented. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank aims to do that by working with local partners around the world like The Australian Seed Bank Partnership to help conserve seeds from species that are at risk. Banking seeds acts as an insurance policy, preserving species for generations to come. They even allow us to reintroduce plants if their natural habitats are destroyed.

Illustration 1
Grey paper 2

Plant Blindness

Plants play a vital role in the environment and the nutritional and medicinal aspects of our life. Plus, being in nature can improve our physical and mental wellbeing.

Yet, plants hardly get any protection or care from us. Endangered plants do not get the attention they deserve, further affecting the ecological equilibrium of the world.

When we walk down the road, hike in a forest, or gaze out in our garden, there are tens of hundreds of species right before our eyes. Unfortunately, we are wired to ignore their diversity. This phenomenon is called plant blindness. We don't get excited about plants the same way we are passionate about animals. We might notice a squirrel in a tree, but not the moss, fungi, or the type of tree it's sitting on. And as a consequence of our ignorance, plant extinction has become an urgent crisis today.

A study by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Stockholm University found that the loss of plant biodiversity is the biggest overlooked issue in the last decade, with experts predicting that one in five plant species is at risk of extinction.

Illustration 2
Grey paper 3

We are at a turning point and we need to act now

“Biodiversity loss is impacted by climate change; yet more attention is paid to climate change. My research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew concentrates on how to stop biodiversity loss and in doing so realises the potential impact plants can have on a sustainable future – which is why it’s so critical to find solutions to protect against plant extinction,” says Professor Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

One of the most effective solutions to stop plant extinction is seed banking.

Illustration 3
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Seed Banking

A seed bank stores seeds to protect the genetic information of various plant species as a part of conservation efforts around biodiversity. In fact, seed banking offers a way to preserve a seed so it can be reintroduced into nature.

Seed banks exist all over the world. This is because resting seeds only require a low-temperature and low-moisture environment. You can think of seed banks as seed libraries for the future. When stored correctly, these seeds can remain viable for decades and even centuries.

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank works with partners and seed banks across the globe to aid the conservation of seeds from endangered plant species. This helps preserve plants that face natural habitat destruction and safeguard them from extinction.

Illustration 4
Grey paper 5

Plants Power Our Lives, Let’s Return the Favour

Plants power everything – from diet and medicine to beauty to making the world a more joyful place. However, they are going extinct at a faster pace than any of us can imagine*. They urgently need our help.

Herbal Essences is committed to continue supporting Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank to help save 300 threatened and endangered plant species by the year 2030. We are focusing on 20 endangered species in 2020 as part of our ‘Save 20’ efforts.

We are not only supporting seed banking, but also helping create awareness about biodiversity loss and eradicating plant blindness. It’s time we play our part in protecting these plants that have been selflessly aiding our lives since the beginning.

*research study between scientist at Stockholm University and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Save 20 in 2020: Learn more about the 20 endangered plant species we are helping protect in Australia and New Zealand.

Verticordia Nitens plant

Verticordia Nitens

Endemic to southwest parts of Western Australia, this species is known as ‘Christmas Morrison.’ These beautiful yellow flowers bloom from October to February. Though it is still common in the country, it has become endangered owing to the increased urban development in the areas it grows.

Thelymitra Graminea – Thelymitrinae plant

Thelymitra Graminea – Thelymitrinae

Native to the southwest of Western Australia, these flowers grow in woodlands and forests. They grow on a delicate plant that is known as the ‘shy sun orchid’ because the flowers open only when they are exposed to the sun. Though it is not classified as being endangered, like many orchids, there are concerns that it could be threatened by over-collection.

Patersonia Umbrosa var. Xanthina - Iridaceae plant

Patersonia Umbrosa var. Xanthina - Iridaceae

Native to the Jarrah and Karri forests in Western Australia, this plant can be found growing in gravel and sandy soils. With its beautiful yellow flowers, this small plant is sometimes known as the Australian small iris. Currently, it is not classified as endangered, but because of its horticultural value, there are concerns it can be overharvested.

Mentha atrolilacina – Lamiaceae plant

Mentha atrolilacina – Lamiaceae

This plant was first discovered in 2010 and belongs to the mint family. It is found in southeast parts of Australia, and owing to its rarity, it is classified as ‘near threatened’.

Boronia Edwardsii - Rutaceae plant

Boronia Edwardsii - Rutaceae

This species is known as ‘Island Boronia’. It is sensitive to changes in the climate and has become endangered in some of its coastal range in southern parts of Australia. Flowers of related species are used in perfumery and as food flavour.

Asterolasia Muricata – Rutaceae plant

Asterolasia Muricata – Rutaceae

Native to the southern parts of Australia, a majority of this species’ population was lost in the 2019 bushfires. It is known as the ‘Lemon Star-Bush’ because of its bright yellow star-shaped flowers. Currently, it is classified as ‘near threatened’ and there are seeds from just one population banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.’

Leionema Hillebrandii – Rutaceae plant

Leionema Hillebrandii – Rutaceae

This plant has delicate white flowers and is commonly known as Mount Lofty Phebalium. Its species is classified as ‘near threatened’ and is endemic to the Adelaide Mountain Lofty Ranges, located in South Australia. The plant is under threat owing to the damage to its habitat and climate change.

Libertia Paniculata – Iridaceae plant

Libertia Paniculata – Iridaceae

Native to southeast Queensland, New South Wales, and Eastern Victoria, this species is commonly known as ‘Branching Grass Flag’. These dainty white flowers can be found in the shade, flowering from May to August. Though this species was not considered at risk initially, much of its populations were destroyed in the 2019 bushfires. It is limited in its distribution to forest areas.

Macadamia Tetraphyla – Proteaceae plant

Macadamia Tetraphyla – Proteaceae

More commonly known as ‘Rough-Shelled Bush Nut,’ this species is found in New Zealand. However, it is native to Australia and is found across Northern New South Wales to Southeast Queensland as well. Macadamia Tetraphyla forms the basis of the commercial macadamia nut industry, and Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act lists the species as ‘vulnerable’.

Pelargonium Helmsii plant

Pelargonium Helmsii

Commonly known as ‘Alpine Stork’s Bill’, this species suffered great loss in the 2003 and 2019 forest fires. It is found throughout the high-altitude alpine heath of the Kosciusko district in New South Wales. It possesses medicinal properties and has traditionally been used to treat coughs, ills, and upper respiratory infections. Australia’s Department of Environment and Primary Industries lists the species as ‘vulnerable.’

Mentha Satureioides – Lamiaceae plant

Mentha Satureioides – Lamiaceae

Commonly known as ‘Native Pennyroyal’, this species can be found throughout New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia in grassy areas and open woodland communities. The leaves smell like peppermint and can be added to hair tonics to treat scalp itch and repel hair lice. It is also used as an insect repellent, as a fragrance in scrubs and lotions, and in traditional medicine for providing relief from cold and flu symptoms.

Brachyscome Muelleri - Corunna Daisy  plant

Brachyscome Muelleri - Corunna Daisy

A critically endangered species, this plant belongs to a single population on the slopes of Corunna Hill in South Australia. Conservationists seed farmed this annual daisy for a reintroduction program with nearly half a million seeds harvested in 2019. This seed banking and reintroductions will help safeguard this annual daisy against its primary extinction threat — grazing by goats and sheep.

Acacia Cretacea  - Chalky Wattle plant

Acacia Cretacea - Chalky Wattle

This critically endangered wattle is only known from a single population on the northern Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. This endangered wattle can grow up to four metres tall, protruding above the surrounding bushland. It was first recorded in 1962 but no further populations have been discovered since.

Koalas resting on a tree

Eucalyptus Agglomerate - Blue-leaved Stringybark

Found in coastal, tableland areas and steep slopes in the Blue Mountains, this species serves as an important food for Koalas. Leaf extracts from its related species are used to make beverages, and its oils are added to soaps to deter insects. These oils can also be used in products to offset the effects of a cold.

Drosera Binate - Forked Sundew or Fork-leaved Sundew plant

Drosera Binate - Forked Sundew or Fork-leaved Sundew

Found in New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania (in coastal areas to sub-alpine heights in boggy ground), this carnivorous plant feeds on insects with tentacles. It preys on insects by secreting a sticky dew from its forked leaves. Owing to its peculiarity, it is sometimes overharvested because of collectors' interest.

Hibiscus Diversifolius plant

Hibiscus Diversifolius

Found on the North island of New Zealand, this beautiful plant is considered to be endangered particularly due to overgrazing of livestock. This hibiscus species is considered to help aid scalp health and promote hair growth, with parts of the flower rich in Vitamin C and amino acids that can aid in hair nourishment.

Clematis Paniculate - Flower Of The Skies plant

Clematis Paniculate - Flower Of The Skies 

Known by its Māori name Puawhananga, meaning “flower of the skies”, this plant grows between August and November. It has a great significance in the Māori culture and there are records of past ancestors using it to cure many different bodily ailments. Leaves of other species of Clematis have been used in hair products to soothe dry skin, especially for those suffering from flaky skin.

Leptospermum Scoparium - Manuka plant

Leptospermum Scoparium - Manuka

This shrub is native to New Zealand and Australia and grows in lowland and subalpine areas. It was once categorized as a weed, but with the increase in global demand for Manuka honey, it is now considered to be economically beneficial. Extracts from the leaves are used in cosmetics to protect against UV and skin ageing. As this plant possesses antibacterial properties, it is used in hair products to soothe itchy and flaky skin.

Dracophyllum Traversii – Neinei plant

Dracophyllum Traversii – Neinei

This unusual plant is native to the mountains of the North Island and the upper half of the South Island of New Zealand. The plant is used for its fibre and even comes in handy in making traditional flutes. Though the species is not currently threatened, it is not easy to grow them.

Cheiranthera Volubilis plant

Cheiranthera Volubilis

‘Volubilis’ in Latin means to turn or twine. This plant, also known as the ‘Twining Finger-Flower’, twines itself around twigs of other plants. It has beautiful blue flowers with yellow anthers that are positioned as if they were hands on a clock. This plant is endemic to South Australia and is only found in the wild, in Kangaroo Island. The species is considered to be endangered and is deemed quite rare owing to its habitat loss.

Kew Interior SP
Grey paper 1

Herbal Essences joins forces with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to help save endangered plants from extinction through seed banking.

Endangered plants need our help - now more than ever.

Plants are the backbone of the world’s ecosystems, underpinning all the life on Earth and providing us with the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat.

However, experts now predict that one in five plant species is at risk of extinction. This means that plants are vanishing two times faster than animals.

Herbal Essences wants to change that. We want to act now. Which is why we’ve partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to help protect some of the most threatened and endangered plant species.

The loss of biodiversity and the threat of plant extinction exists everywhere, even in our own backyards. But it can be controlled and prevented. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank aims to do that by working with local partners around the world like The Australian Seed Bank Partnership to help conserve seeds from species that are at risk. Banking seeds acts as an insurance policy, preserving species for generations to come. They even allow us to reintroduce plants if their natural habitats are destroyed.

Grey paper 2

Plant Blindness

Plants play a vital role in the environment and the nutritional and medicinal aspects of our life. Plus, being in nature can improve our physical and mental wellbeing.

Yet, plants hardly get any protection or care from us. Endangered plants do not get the attention they deserve, further affecting the ecological equilibrium of the world.

When we walk down the road, hike in a forest, or gaze out in our garden, there are tens of hundreds of species right before our eyes. Unfortunately, we are wired to ignore their diversity. This phenomenon is called plant blindness. We don't get excited about plants the same way we are passionate about animals. We might notice a squirrel in a tree, but not the moss, fungi, or the type of tree it's sitting on. And as a consequence of our ignorance, plant extinction has become an urgent crisis today.

A study by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Stockholm University found that the loss of plant biodiversity is the biggest overlooked issue in the last decade, with experts predicting that one in five plant species is at risk of extinction.

Grey paper 3

We are at a turning point and we need to act now

“Biodiversity loss is impacted by climate change; yet more attention is paid to climate change. My research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew concentrates on how to stop biodiversity loss and in doing so realises the potential impact plants can have on a sustainable future – which is why it’s so critical to find solutions to protect against plant extinction,” says Professor Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

One of the most effective solutions to stop plant extinction is seed banking.

Grey paper 4

Seed Banking

A seed bank stores seeds to protect the genetic information of various plant species as a part of conservation efforts around biodiversity. In fact, seed banking offers a way to preserve a seed so it can be reintroduced into nature.

Seed banks exist all over the world. This is because resting seeds only require a low-temperature and low-moisture environment. You can think of seed banks as seed libraries for the future. When stored correctly, these seeds can remain viable for decades and even centuries.

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank works with partners and seed banks across the globe to aid the conservation of seeds from endangered plant species. This helps preserve plants that face natural habitat destruction and safeguard them from extinction.

Grey paper 5

Plants Power Our Lives, Let’s Return the Favour

Plants power everything – from diet and medicine to beauty to making the world a more joyful place. However, they are going extinct at a faster pace than any of us can imagine*. They urgently need our help.

Herbal Essences is committed to continue supporting Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank to help save 300 threatened and endangered plant species by the year 2030. We are focusing on 20 endangered species in 2020 as part of our ‘Save 20’ efforts.

We are not only supporting seed banking, but also helping create awareness about biodiversity loss and eradicating plant blindness. It’s time we play our part in protecting these plants that have been selflessly aiding our lives since the beginning.

*research study between scientist at Stockholm University and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Save 20 in 2020: Learn more about the 20 endangered plant species we are helping protect in Australia and New Zealand.

Verticordia Nitens plant

Verticordia Nitens

Endemic to southwest parts of Western Australia, this species is known as ‘Christmas Morrison.’ These beautiful yellow flowers bloom from October to February. Though it is still common in the country, it has become endangered owing to the increased urban development in the areas it grows.

Thelymitra Graminea – Thelymitrinae plant

Thelymitra Graminea – Thelymitrinae

Native to the southwest of Western Australia, these flowers grow in woodlands and forests. They grow on a delicate plant that is known as the ‘shy sun orchid’ because the flowers open only when they are exposed to the sun. Though it is not classified as being endangered, like many orchids, there are concerns that it could be threatened by over-collection.

Patersonia Umbrosa var. Xanthina - Iridaceae plant

Patersonia Umbrosa var. Xanthina - Iridaceae

Native to the Jarrah and Karri forests in Western Australia, this plant can be found growing in gravel and sandy soils. With its beautiful yellow flowers, this small plant is sometimes known as the Australian small iris. Currently, it is not classified as endangered, but because of its horticultural value, there are concerns it can be overharvested.

Mentha atrolilacina – Lamiaceae plant

Mentha atrolilacina – Lamiaceae

This plant was first discovered in 2010 and belongs to the mint family. It is found in southeast parts of Australia, and owing to its rarity, it is classified as ‘near threatened’.

Boronia Edwardsii - Rutaceae plant

Boronia Edwardsii - Rutaceae

This species is known as ‘Island Boronia’. It is sensitive to changes in the climate and has become endangered in some of its coastal range in southern parts of Australia. Flowers of related species are used in perfumery and as food flavour.

Asterolasia Muricata – Rutaceae plant

Asterolasia Muricata – Rutaceae

Native to the southern parts of Australia, a majority of this species’ population was lost in the 2019 bushfires. It is known as the ‘Lemon Star-Bush’ because of its bright yellow star-shaped flowers. Currently, it is classified as ‘near threatened’ and there are seeds from just one population banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.’

Leionema Hillebrandii – Rutaceae plant

Leionema Hillebrandii – Rutaceae

This plant has delicate white flowers and is commonly known as Mount Lofty Phebalium. Its species is classified as ‘near threatened’ and is endemic to the Adelaide Mountain Lofty Ranges, located in South Australia. The plant is under threat owing to the damage to its habitat and climate change.

Libertia Paniculata – Iridaceae plant

Libertia Paniculata – Iridaceae

Native to southeast Queensland, New South Wales, and Eastern Victoria, this species is commonly known as ‘Branching Grass Flag’. These dainty white flowers can be found in the shade, flowering from May to August. Though this species was not considered at risk initially, much of its populations were destroyed in the 2019 bushfires. It is limited in its distribution to forest areas.

Macadamia Tetraphyla – Proteaceae plant

Macadamia Tetraphyla – Proteaceae

More commonly known as ‘Rough-Shelled Bush Nut,’ this species is found in New Zealand. However, it is native to Australia and is found across Northern New South Wales to Southeast Queensland as well. Macadamia Tetraphyla forms the basis of the commercial macadamia nut industry, and Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act lists the species as ‘vulnerable’.

Pelargonium Helmsii plant

Pelargonium Helmsii

Commonly known as ‘Alpine Stork’s Bill’, this species suffered great loss in the 2003 and 2019 forest fires. It is found throughout the high-altitude alpine heath of the Kosciusko district in New South Wales. It possesses medicinal properties and has traditionally been used to treat coughs, ills, and upper respiratory infections. Australia’s Department of Environment and Primary Industries lists the species as ‘vulnerable.’

Mentha Satureioides – Lamiaceae plant

Mentha Satureioides – Lamiaceae

Commonly known as ‘Native Pennyroyal’, this species can be found throughout New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia in grassy areas and open woodland communities. The leaves smell like peppermint and can be added to hair tonics to treat scalp itch and repel hair lice. It is also used as an insect repellent, as a fragrance in scrubs and lotions, and in traditional medicine for providing relief from cold and flu symptoms.

Brachyscome Muelleri - Corunna Daisy  plant

Brachyscome Muelleri - Corunna Daisy

A critically endangered species, this plant belongs to a single population on the slopes of Corunna Hill in South Australia. Conservationists seed farmed this annual daisy for a reintroduction program with nearly half a million seeds harvested in 2019. This seed banking and reintroductions will help safeguard this annual daisy against its primary extinction threat — grazing by goats and sheep.

Acacia Cretacea  - Chalky Wattle plant

Acacia Cretacea - Chalky Wattle

This critically endangered wattle is only known from a single population on the northern Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. This endangered wattle can grow up to four metres tall, protruding above the surrounding bushland. It was first recorded in 1962 but no further populations have been discovered since.

Koalas resting on a tree

Eucalyptus Agglomerate - Blue-leaved Stringybark

Found in coastal, tableland areas and steep slopes in the Blue Mountains, this species serves as an important food for Koalas. Leaf extracts from its related species are used to make beverages, and its oils are added to soaps to deter insects. These oils can also be used in products to offset the effects of a cold.

Drosera Binate - Forked Sundew or Fork-leaved Sundew plant

Drosera Binate - Forked Sundew or Fork-leaved Sundew

Found in New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania (in coastal areas to sub-alpine heights in boggy ground), this carnivorous plant feeds on insects with tentacles. It preys on insects by secreting a sticky dew from its forked leaves. Owing to its peculiarity, it is sometimes overharvested because of collectors' interest.

Hibiscus Diversifolius plant

Hibiscus Diversifolius

Found on the North island of New Zealand, this beautiful plant is considered to be endangered particularly due to overgrazing of livestock. This hibiscus species is considered to help aid scalp health and promote hair growth, with parts of the flower rich in Vitamin C and amino acids that can aid in hair nourishment.

Clematis Paniculate - Flower Of The Skies plant

Clematis Paniculate - Flower Of The Skies 

Known by its Māori name Puawhananga, meaning “flower of the skies”, this plant grows between August and November. It has a great significance in the Māori culture and there are records of past ancestors using it to cure many different bodily ailments. Leaves of other species of Clematis have been used in hair products to soothe dry skin, especially for those suffering from flaky skin.

Leptospermum Scoparium - Manuka plant

Leptospermum Scoparium - Manuka

This shrub is native to New Zealand and Australia and grows in lowland and subalpine areas. It was once categorized as a weed, but with the increase in global demand for Manuka honey, it is now considered to be economically beneficial. Extracts from the leaves are used in cosmetics to protect against UV and skin ageing. As this plant possesses antibacterial properties, it is used in hair products to soothe itchy and flaky skin.

Dracophyllum Traversii – Neinei plant

Dracophyllum Traversii – Neinei

This unusual plant is native to the mountains of the North Island and the upper half of the South Island of New Zealand. The plant is used for its fibre and even comes in handy in making traditional flutes. Though the species is not currently threatened, it is not easy to grow them.

Cheiranthera Volubilis plant

Cheiranthera Volubilis

‘Volubilis’ in Latin means to turn or twine. This plant, also known as the ‘Twining Finger-Flower’, twines itself around twigs of other plants. It has beautiful blue flowers with yellow anthers that are positioned as if they were hands on a clock. This plant is endemic to South Australia and is only found in the wild, in Kangaroo Island. The species is considered to be endangered and is deemed quite rare owing to its habitat loss.