Along with much of Rodrigues’ native vegetation, it was probably a combination of introduced herbivores, invasive alien plants, and habitat loss that decimated the café marron population (6). Indeed, goats had reduced the remaining wild specimen to a small, half-eaten shrub when it was first discovered. Owing to the unprecedented level of scientific interest that surrounded the little plant in the aftermath of its re-discovery, local people became convinced of the plant’s medicinal properties (2). Consequently, there was a period before the erection of multiple fences (1) (2), and even the installation of a guard, when people were intent on removing branches, twigs and leaves from the hapless plant (7). Although the protection of the single wild specimen has now been secured, the real obstacle to the species’ long-term survival is establishing an efficient means of propagating a non-sterile population from an effectively sterile plant (2).