Orchids are considered to be particularly beautiful and noble plants. But that doesn’t apply to everyone. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Great Britain have now introduced the “ugliest orchid in the world” and given it a scientific name.
The plant is now called Gastrodia agnicellus, it was found in Madagascar this year and has recently been scientifically described. The orchid is brown, with eleven millimeters rather small and also “quite ugly”, as the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (RBG), in southwest London, report. After fertilization, their stalks grow, the fruits hang higher above the forest floor and can better distribute the dust-like seeds.
As soon as it is discovered, the orchid is already endangered. Since some of the specimens were sighted in a protected area, it does not appear to be acutely threatened – in contrast to some other species that the RGB presented on Thursday.
Six new toadstools in the UK
A total of 156 researchers from the venerable institution discovered in 2020 in Africa, Asia, America and Great Britain under the difficult conditions of the coronavirus pandemic. These included six British toadstools, one of which was in the immediate vicinity of London Heathrow Airport.
Other discoveries include: a plant related to sweet potatoes in Peru that could be used as food; a strange, scaly bush that grows in arid regions of Namibia and of which there are only about 1,000 specimens left; and a pineapple relative that is fertilized by hummingbirds in central Brazil. With these and other species, the RBG would not allow themselves to be carried away to any aesthetic judgment – everyone can make that themselves.