Due to its high proportion or rare and endemic plant species, the Andean region is regarded as being a “hyperhot” priority for plant conservation, meaning action is urgently required to preserve this unique ecosystem and its important vegetation. Any conservation action in the Andes cannot fail to consider the need to conserve the Queen of the Andes, perhaps the most conspicuous and charismatic member of the Andean floral community (5).
A conservation priority for the Queen of the Andes is the development of ex-situ conservation projects, particularly in light of its low genetic diversity. Around two dozen, mainly small specimens are already contained in botanical gardens, and these specimens should be supplemented by collections from unrelated populations. Steps should also be taken to learn more about this species’ biology so that informed conservation measures may be implemented in future (1) (5).
The Queen of the Andes is officially classified as Endangered in Peru. However, in practice there is little enforcement of this, and there is little evidence of legal enforcement outside of one National Park. Consequently, the law should be strengthened and enforced. There is also the opportunity for the Peruvian authorities to promote the Queen of the Andes’ populations as a tourist attraction and, thereby, raise awareness of this species’ value. In addition, introducing this species into international botanical gardens as a landscaping plant will also raise its profile (1).