Friday, September 24, 2010

New species of orchid found at Mount Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu: A new species of orchid was discovered recently on Mount Kinabalu and the Crocker Range.

This species, Dendrobium datinconnieae, has been named in honour of Datin Connie Wong Mui Yun, a Director of Kota Kinabalu-based Natural History Publications, which has been responsible for many authoritative books on the biodiversity of Sabah and the Malesian region.

It also publishes the bi-annual Malesian Orchid Journal.

This unusually outstanding species of Dendrobium was also described in the most recent issue of Malesian Orchid Journal by botanist Jeffrey Wood, Curator of the Orchid Herbarium at the world-renowned Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London.

The stems of this beautiful epiphytic species attain 35cm in length, the short inflorescences bearing three to five large yellow flowers usually borne on the older, pendulous leafless growths.

A much rarer, orange-flowered form is only found in the Sayap area of Kinabalu Park.

Nearly 1,000 species of native orchid have been recorded in Sabah - which is about two-thirds of the entire orchid flora of Borneo. More than 800 species are found on Mount Kinabalu alone, 90 of which are endemic to the mountain.

The richness of Sabah's orchid flora is reflected in the continual emergence of new species, and taxonomists in renowned botanical institutions in Europe have been systematically describing them over the past two decades.

Continue reading at: New species of orchid found at Mount Kinabalu

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