Feb 1

We’ve asked conservation organisations around the world to nominate a species that they believe to be overlooked, underappreciated and unloved, and tell us why they think that they deserve a fair share of the limelight, this Valentine’s Day.

Each nominee’s story is featured on the Arkive blog with information on the species, what makes them so special, the conservation organisation that nominated them and how they are working to save them from extinction.

Click the ‘unloved species’ tag above to see all of the nominations and their blogs.

Once you have perused the blogs you can vote for your favourite to help get them into the top ten unloved species and get them the recognition that they truly deserve! Share your favourite with others using the #LoveSpecies hashtag on Twitter and Facebook and tell them why they should vote for them too. Voting closes on February 14th at 23:59 PST (07:59 GMT).

Join us and our conservation partners in celebrating and raising awareness for some of the world’s most unloved species this Valentine’s Day!

Species: Corn cleavers

Nominated by: Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI)

Conservation status: Critically Endangered: GB Red List 2005; England Red List 2014

Why do you love it? This may be corn cleavers’ last chance to find love. Unlike coffee and gardenia (in the same family) nobody longs for corn cleavers in the morning or swoons at his scent. Formerly a widespread “weed” among cereal crops but – unlike cornflower and corncockle – nobody wants the unshowy flowers of corn cleavers in their 21st Century wildflower seed mix. Easily confused with Galium aparine (common cleavers or sticky willie), corn cleavers is much less common and not so clingy.

What are the threats to corn cleavers? Corn cleavers has declined drastically due to increasing agricultural intensification and only one viable population now remains in Britain – it needs the regular cycle of disturbance enjoyed back in those traditionally-managed cornfields. Although it comes up occasionally as a casual, such as in Cambridgeshire in 1996, following disturbance due to road works, and again in Newcastle in 2014, corn cleavers cannot persist in such surroundings.

What are you doing to save it? BSBI’s volunteer members continue to record and map any sightings of corn cleavers across Britain and Ireland and our expert plant referees confirm any identifications. We monitor the one remaining viable population in Hertfordshire and our Head of Science has been working with the Oxfordshire Rare Plants Group to reintroduce it to a site where it once occurred. Seed from Hertfordshire has also been planted in an arable weed reserve in Buckinghamshire and is stored in Kew’s Millenium Seed Bank.

Find out more about how you could get involved with saving corn cleavers from extinction

Find out more about Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank

Learn more about the work of BSBI

Discover more endangered plant species on Arkive