GHOST ORCHID

‘Ghost’ orchid that grows in the dark among new plant finds

Hundreds of new species include pink voodoo lily and an ylang-ylang tree named after Leonardo DiCaprio.

A ghost orchid that grows in complete darkness, an insect-trapping tobacco plant and an “exploding firework” flower are among the new species named by scientists in the last year. 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. He campaigned to revoke a logging concession which threatened the African tree, which features glossy yellow flowers on its trunk.

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.

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