Sticky and heavily armed, a tomato-relative is the new ‘star’ of the Brazilian inselbergs

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  • November 20, 2018
  • Armed with long thorns and sticky stems, newly described plant Solanum kollastrummight look like a villain by plant standards, but a closer look on this curious new species will reveal its star-like nature in the context of its ecosystem. Recently described in open access journal PhytoKeys, this newly discovered tomato relative boasts stems densely armed with prickles […]

    An overlooked giant: useful and abundant, African ‘Zam’ palm newly described for science

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  • November 8, 2018
  • Common sight along road sides in south Cameroon and western Gabon, and growing in hard-to-be-missed dense colonies, it remains a mystery how this locally useful new palm species Raphia zamiana (locally known as “Zam”) has been missed by botanists until now, with its first collection dating to 2012. The overlooked giant has been recently described […]

    Described 28 years post-collection, new grass species makes a strong case for conservation

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  • July 6, 2018
  • Originally collected 28 years ago in Ecuador, new species Poa laegaardiana has been just described, only to find out its prospects for surviving in its type location seem bleak nowadays. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. When roaming in the Cordillera de los Andes of Ecuador, near the village of Facundo Vela, little did Smithsonian scientist and author, […]

    Science and Twitter join forces to uncover a globally imperiled plant species

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  • April 17, 2018
  • What happens when researchers and social media combine forces in the name of science? A rare wildflower from the US and a team of Twitter-savvy botanists tell us a tale of symbiosis between science and modern technology. While hunting for the Pennsylvania state-endangered golden corydalis on steep 350-foot cliffs for a new episode of his YouTube video […]

    Unusual properties within the grass genus Diplachne

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  • January 30, 2018
  • The grass genus Diplachne only includes two species, but it the does not fall short when it comes to remarkable features. It was precisely this affinity to the unusual displayed by the nearly worldwide genus that inspired Dr Neil Snow and his co-authors to delve deeper in a dedicated monograph published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. Occuring widely on […]

    Untangling the complex taxonomic history of a Neotropical liana genus

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  • January 29, 2018
  • While untangling the complex taxonomy of Neotropical liana genus Pachyptera, scientists Ms. Jéssica Nayara Carvalho Francisco and Dr. Lúcia Garcez Lohmann from the University of São Paulo used integrative taxonomy to help them recognize five well-defined species, one of which newly described from Colombia and Venezuela. The monograph study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. How […]

    Two Caribbean bird-catcher trees named after two women with overlooked botanical work

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  • September 26, 2017
  • Known for their biodiversity richness, the Caribbean Islands are now adding two new species of bird-catcher trees to their list of botanical treasures. Commonly referred to as bird-catcher trees, the species whose ripe fruits are sticky and can be glued to birds, are from the four-o’clock family (Nyctaginaceae) and only found in Puerto Rico. Baptised Pisonia […]

    Connecting plants and society: The Shenzhen Declaration, a new roadmap for plant sciences

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  • September 18, 2017
  • Environmental degradation, unsustainable resource use, and biodiversity loss are just a few points in the long list of pertinent issues that call for collaborative solutions from science and society together. Unanimously supported by participants at the XIX International Botanical Congress, held in July 2017, Shenzhen, China, the Shenzhen Declaration for Plant Sciences, runs under the slogan […]