Ghost Orchid that Grows in Dark Among New Plant Finds
Ghost Orchid that Grows in Dark Among New Plant Finds

London, 6 Jan (ONA) --- Several new plants were named by scientists last year, including a ghost orchid which grows in complete darkness, an insect-trapping tobacco plant and a so called exploding firework flower.

The species range from a voodoo lily from Cameroon to a rare tooth fungus unearthed near London, UK.

A new tree from the ylang-ylang family is the first to be named in 2022 and is being named after the actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio.

The highlighted plants are among the 205 new species named in 2021 by scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and their collaborators around the world. All are vital parts of the planet’s biodiversity and some may provide food and medicine.

Three of the new orchids are already thought to be extinct in the wild due to the destruction of their forest homes.

The unusual tobacco plant was among seven new species found near a truck stop in Western Australia and is covered in sticky glands that trap and kill insects, most likely as a defensive measure.

The tropics are known hotspots for biodiversity and a spectacular new species of primrose found in Borneo was named Ardisia pyrotechnica because its shower of white flowers resembles exploding fireworks. However, it is already assessed as critically endangered, as only a few plants have been found in two locations.

In total, scientists across the world have named about 2,000 new plant species each year for at least a decade. “It’s almost bewildering that we’re still discovering so many,” said Dr Martin Cheek, at RBG Kew.

The new ghost orchid is one of 16 new orchids from dense and remote forests in Madagascar, it was named Didymoplexis stella-silvae by Kew’s Johan Hermans, meaning “star of the forest” as it grows in complete darkness and has star-like flowers, the Guardian news reported.

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