Plants

A new species of Lobster-claw from Panama

A new species of Lobster-claw from Panama

New Species, Plants May 9, 2017 at 9:10 am

Lobster-claws, Heliconiaceae, are large Banana-like plants closely related to the Bird-of-Paradise Plants, Strelitziaceae, and sometimes known as ‘False Bird-of-Paradise Plants.

New Monkey Fruit from Vietnam

New Monkey Fruit from Vietnam

New Species, Plants May 9, 2017 at 8:55 am

Found in Bidoup Nui Ba National Park in Vietnam, the new species is an evergreen tree reaching 10 m in height, with pale grey or brown bark, large dark green leaves on reddish green stems, and dark red flowers that turn green as they age.

Species of sunflower, a tassle flower, discovered in Eastern Ghats, India

Species of sunflower, a tassle flower, discovered in Eastern Ghats, India

New Species, Plants May 8, 2017 at 10:51 am

The new species, ‘Emilia reddyi’, is found on Galikonda hill of the Eastern Ghats near Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district.  

New flowering peas named after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito

New flowering peas named after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito

New Species, Plants April 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

ANU biologists have named an unlikely pair of plants after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, the stars of the 1988 movie Twins.  Lead researcher Emeritus Professor Mike Crisp said one of the species of Daviesia, a genus of Australian pea flowers, was much more robust than the other, calling to mind the movie about Julius and his twin brother Vincent, the products of a genetic project.  Other new Daviesia species are described.

Two species of pennyworts growing on dry land in Western Australia

Two species of pennyworts growing on dry land in Western Australia

New Species, Plants April 27, 2017 at 9:06 am

A new plant species has been discovered rising from the ashes of two major bushfires near Albany in Western Australia.  The soon-to-be-named species was the second pennywort to be found on dry land anywhere in the world.  The first was the phoenix pennywort, also collected in Western Australia, in November 2015, which will be described in a publication in a few months. Pennyworts are perennial herbs that usually grow in, or next to, water.

11 new orchid species found in Sabah, Borneo

11 new orchid species found in Sabah, Borneo

New Species, Plants April 15, 2017 at 10:53 am

Sabah, in the northeast of Borneo, is affirmed as a biodiversity hotspot with the discovery of 11 new orchid species.

Two new species of orchids discovered in Japan

Two new species of orchids discovered in Japan

New Species, Plants April 10, 2017 at 10:11 am

Two new species of parasitic plants have been discovered on the main island of Okinawa, Japan, in the Yanbaru National Park.

A stunning new orchid species from South Africa

A stunning new orchid species from South Africa

New Species, Plants April 3, 2017 at 12:07 am

A new orchid species has been discovered in the Kogelberg mountains of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. The striking and unusual plant was found on a rocky southeast-facing slope in shallow peaty soil derived from Table Mountain Sandstone. There is only a single population in the Steenbras Catchment area of the Kogelberg Mountains.  

New ginger species from the Democratic Republic of Congo

New ginger species from the Democratic Republic of Congo

New Species, Plants, Species Discovery March 30, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Scientists from WCS have discovered a new species of wild ginger, spicing up a wave of recent wildlife discoveries in the Kabobo Massif – a rugged, mountainous region in Democratic Republic of Congo.  This discovery adds to the growing list of 50-odd known species of ginger found throughout Africa including Madagascar. “The rugged massif comprises of a chain of largely-unexplored mountains lying along the western shore of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest freshwater lake bordering the DRC, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia. Decades of civil unrest in the region had restricted scientific exploration until recently.  Now, researchers are undertaking expeditions that areRead More

Bhutan’s national flower and symbol of happiness, the Blue Poppy is actually a new species

Bhutan’s national flower and symbol of happiness, the Blue Poppy is actually a new species

New Species, Plants March 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

It has been discovered that the national flower, the Blue Poppy is a new species to science with the discovery of two more new species of the Meconopsis : Meconopsis elongata and Meconopsis merakensis.  Bhutan’s National Biodiversity Centre curator of herbarium, Rinchen Yangzom said the scientific name has been changed because it had been misidentified as  a separate species, Meconopsis grandis, which is not found in Bhutan.  Another two new species of blue poppy were also discovered in addition to the national flower of Bhutan, econopsis merakensis and Meconopsis elongata,

New herb species from Romania

New herb species from Romania

New Species, Plants March 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

The new discovery is a member of the Apiaceae family – a large family of mostly aromatic flowering plants, counting more than 3,700 species and including culinary favourites such as celery, carrot, parsley, coriander, cumin, dill and fennel.  The new species is endemic to Romania, with plant from Romania very small population (172 individuals in 2015) restricted to a few steppe grassland enclaves within Dumbrăveni Forest Nature Reserve.

New mint species

New mint species

New Species, Plants February 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

Two new species of hedge-nettles have been described from Alabama.  Hedge-nettles are a large group of plants in the mint family.

A new species of Impatiens from Cambodia

A new species of Impatiens from Cambodia

New Species, Plants February 15, 2017 at 5:09 pm

It is an annual herb reaching about 40 cm in height, found growing on sandstone tables in an evergreen tropical forest at about 1050 m above sealevel.  The plants flowered in August and bore fruit in November.  There are about 850-1000 species in the Impatiens genus.

New fern species found near waterfalls in Maui

New fern species found near waterfalls in Maui

New Species, Plants January 31, 2017 at 10:26 am

Newly discovered fern species prefers fast moving water habitats, decorates the walls of streams and waterfalls on East Maui, Hawai. A Mature plants of Athyrium haleakalae, showing habitat preference along concave hollow of stream, Hana Forest Reserve, East Maui, HI (22 Aug 2013, Wood & Oppenheimer 15639) B Mature plant of Athyrium microphyllum, showing terrestrial habitat preference, erect rhizome, and large size, Mohihi, Kaua‘i, HI (18 Dec 2014, Wood & Flynn et al. 16175). Photos by K.R. Wood.    

A new species of Gesneriad from Vietnam

A new species of Gesneriad from Vietnam

New Species, Plants January 31, 2017 at 10:08 am

A new species of flowering plant from a genus first decribed in 2014.  The new species is from Cà Ðam Mountains, Quảng Ngãi Province, Central Vietnam.          

New Ginger species with medicinal properties found in Andaman Islands, India

New Ginger species with medicinal properties found in Andaman Islands, India

New Species, Plants January 25, 2017 at 12:34 am

The species Zingiber pseudosquarrosum, new to science was already used by the local Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups ( PVTGs) of the Andamans for its medicinal values.  During an expedition to north and middle Andaman, one of local guides, who was a Nicobarese, shared his traditional knowledge about this species, which was so far hidden from science.  After collecting and systematically analysing the species, scientists found that the new species indeed possesses ethno-medicinal uses. “The fresh extract [juice] of fleshy tuberous roots is used to treat abdominal pain and anti-helminthic troubles by Nicobarese and certain other tribal communities.

A sunflower discovered high in the Colombian Andes, named in honor of president

A sunflower discovered high in the Colombian Andes, named in honor of president

Celebrity Taxa, New Species, Plants January 24, 2017 at 11:59 pm

A new plant species from about 11,000 ft up in the northern Andes of Northeastern Colombia has been named Espeletia praesidentis, in honor of efforts made by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to build peace in his country after over five decades of conflict.

One of the rarest species on Earth

One of the rarest species on Earth

Plants, Species Update January 24, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Update re: the 2016 discovery of Melicope tree species in Hawaii (see story). Discoverers from the Botany Dept of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History say Melicope oppenheimeri “ranks among the rarest species on this planet”.  The tree is known today from only 3 wild specimens on an isolated cliff-base plateau in West Maui’s upper Waihe‘e Valley. Seven wild specimens first drew the attention of botanists in 1998. Four have since died.  

New found flower named for Jimi Hendrix

New found flower named for Jimi Hendrix

Celebrity Taxa, New Species, Plants December 16, 2016 at 12:35 am

The plant, named Dudleya hendrixii, is found only in a sliver of Baja California, Mexico, in an area called the Colonet Peninsula (Punta Colonet).  Author Mark Dodero and study co-author Stephen McCabe, a retired botanist formerly at the University of California, Santa Cruz, jointly decided to name the plant in Hendrix’s honor. The idea for the name took root after Dodero realized he was listening to Hendrix’s song “Voodoo Child” at the very moment he found the pinkish plant.

New species of parasitic orchid discovered in Japan

New species of parasitic orchid discovered in Japan

Citizen Science, New Species, Plants, Species Discovery November 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Some plant species have abandoned photosynthesis, instead feeding off the roots of host fungi such as mushrooms and mould. These plants are called mycoheterotrophs. A Japanese photographer has discovered a new mycoheterotoph in the lowland laurel forests of Yakushima and named it Lecanorchis tabugawaensis.  Approximately 50 mycoheterotrophs species have been reported in Japan.