Strange Orchid Species Discovered In Deciduous Mexican Forests

First Posted: Jan 14, 2016 11:59 AM EST

A team of scientists on Mexico's Pacific slope of Oaxaca have stumbled upon a new, exotic orchid species that grows on rocks in deciduous forests, according to a study. The newly discovered orchid has been 'sheltered' under the name of a close relative. The researchers believe that the plant should have a species of its own due to its distinctive colors and features.

The researchers were captivated by the orchid's colors and forms, thus they called it 'epithet inopinatus' which means "unexpected." According to the researchers, the orchid's most distinctive feature is its yellow labellum patterned with crimson to reddish brown lines.

The new orchid plant is about 30 to 42 cm in height and its flowers reach between 80 and 90 cm. Each of its branches produces 3 to 8 flowers that bloom between March and July. This orchid has been found in just a few locations on the Oaxaca slope in Mexico, which categorizes the species as rare. The researchers compared similarities of the newly found orchid species to some of its close modern relatives and they also discussed the plant's taxonomic placement.

The findings of this study were published PhytoKeys.

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