Advertisement

New orchid species named for devilish appearance

Only just discovered, the rare species has already been declared Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

By
Brooks Hays
The heart of a newly discovered orchid species recalls the head of a demon. Photo by Dr. Marta Kolanowska
The heart of a newly discovered orchid species recalls the head of a demon. Photo by Dr. Marta Kolanowska

BOGOTA, July 12 (UPI) -- A new species of orchid has the devil's signature. The flower's heart resembles the head of a demon -- a pair of horns and two sinister, slanting red eyes.

The orchid was recently discovered in Colombia. Scientists named it Telipogon diabolicus and described it in a new paper, published this week in the journal PhytoKeys.

Advertisement

So far, scientists have found just a single population of the rare flower, located in dwarf montane forest in southern Colombia. The small patch of forest hosts 30 orchids.

The flowers are red or maroon in color, with striped, white petals and a solid-colored center. Each stem reaches between 5.5 and 9 centimeters in height.

Only just discovered, the rare species has already been declared Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

The discovery involved a collaboration between Polish and Colombian scientists.

"In the most recent catalogue of Colombian plants almost 3600 orchid species representing nearly 250 genera are included," researchers wrote in their paper. "However, there is no doubt that hundreds of species occurring in this country remain undiscovered. Only in 2015 over 20 novelties were published based on material collected in Colombia."

Advertisement

Latest Headlines