> Hi Alberto, I cant imagine how anyone could justify taking something so > beautiful from its native environment, unless it was its last chance of > survival. What an earth were those Netherlanders thinking..... I have never > seen these little sapphires before & i was wondering if any sustainable > population survived in the wild, once the original population was removed ? Steve, not even justifiable if it were THE DUTCH'S last chance of survival. The whole population was plundered and it became extinct in the wild. Amazingly another population was found in recent years higher in the mountains but the location is locked under seven keys. I wonder why. For those interested in the subject, in more recent times, countless millions of Cyclamens, Galanthus and Sternbergia were dug in Turkey to be taken to Holland and whence sold to the four corners of Europe until an investigation by Fauna and Flora Preservation Society unveiled this in 1989. The irony is that the survival rate of those wild plants was very low. They were bought from the poor peasants in bulk for cents.