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Beijing, March 18 – Chinese researchers have discovered two new plant species in a giant panda habitat in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said.
The new species, including an orchid species and a primrose species, were first found in the Wolong National Nature Reserve by researchers from the Chengdu Institute of Biology under the CAS, Xinhua reported.
The orchid species, Gastrochilus heminii, was named after Zhang Hemin, a panda expert. It was first discovered in June 2021 and identified as a new species after field investigations and specimen collections during its breeding period.
The tiny orchid grows at an altitude of 2,400 to 2,700 metres above sea level and has a small population, with only about 200 found in the nature reserve.
The primrose species, Primula wolongensis, was named after where it was found in May 2021. Growing on cliffs at an altitude of 3,400 metres, the perennial herb has yellow flowers and is very rare, only known from its type locality currently, said the CAS, Xinhua reported.
The discoveries have been published in the journal PhytoKeys.