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Newly Discovered Begonia in Need of Urgent Protection

Feb 20, 2020

Chinese scientists have discovered a new begonia species in Yunnan Province in southwest China, removing another one from the list of many tuberous species estimated yet to be discovered or described in the country.

 

Begonia puerensis. /Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden

 

Begonia puerensis. /Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden

The newly found species is named Begonia puerensis W.G. Wang, X.D. Ma & J.Y. Shen, sp. nov. There are about 2,000 species in Begonia distributing in the tropics and subtropics of Asia, America and Africa. It is estimated by the experts that some between 250 to 300 can be found in China. The species are of great value for studies of biodiversity and species evolution, subsequently major attention of international botanists has been drawn to its study. One of its interesting characters is usually only one species can be found in the same cave or mountain.

 

Closeup of a male flower. /Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden

 

Closeup of a female flower. /Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden

So far, the Begonia puerensis is only found scattering in limestone environment in counties of Lancang and Menglian in Yunnan Province. The already small numbered plants are in the threat of shrinking living environment caused by nearby human activities. As it is rated as an endangered species by IUCN, more thorough investigation and protection are needed. (CGTN)

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