South Africa's annual award-winning flower exhibits at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London will not happen this year due to a lack of funding.
"The South African National Biodiversity Institute's (Sanbi's) Kirstenbosch-SA Chelsea Exhibit will not be going to London this year," Sanbi said in a statement posted on its website late on Monday.
Sanbi had won at the event for the last 35 years.
"This unfortunate situation is a result of a lack of corporate sponsorship that, in light of the recent global economic crisis, has not been forthcoming," Sanbi said.
"Since the loss of a corporate sponsor two years ago, Sanbi has held fundraising events and activities at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden to fund the exhibit.
"However this is no longer a practical or possible option."
A similar situation occurred in 1994 but a sponsor had saved it.
The Kirstenbosch-SA Chelsea Exhibit has won 30 gold medals, two silver-gilt medals and three silver medals.
It was also awarded the Wilkinson Sword trophy for the Best Overseas Exhibit on all four occasions that the trophy was presented, and numerous other awards for outstanding contributions to the show.
"These achievements have put South Africa on a global stage of great influence and showcased the country as a land of natural wealth and beauty and a haven of unique biodiversity," Sanbi said.