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Rare plant rediscovered on Del. coast

THE BALTIMORE SUN

LEWES, Del. - A rare plant, missing from Delaware's shores for over 100 years, has been rediscovered by scientists.

More than 40 of the flowering plant, known as seabeach amaranth, were found recently on a stretch of sand dunes.

"It's a significant find for Delaware," said William McAvoy, a botanist and one of the scientists who hound the plants.

The tiny plant is considered a threatened species, with less than 20 populations worldwide. It grows only on Atlantic beaches, primarily in New York and North Carolina.

The plants were found scattered on dunes between Delaware Seashore State Park and Fenwick Island State Park.

It works as a sand binder, with a single plant able to create small dunes containing 2 to 3 cubic meters of sand. But populations have been damaged by the construction of jetties, groins and bulkheads.

The plants were fenced off and botanists collected seeds for planting next summer, said McAvoy.

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