Indonesia’s abundant biodiversity has once again been highlighted with the discovery of two new species of orchid in Kalimantan.
An article on the new orchids belonging to the Dendrobium calcariferum section was published in the September edition of Malesian Orchid Journal by Destario Metusala, from the Indonesia Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Peter O’Byrne, an orchid expert from Singapore, and J.J. Wood, a researcher from England’s Kew Botanical Garden, a LIPI statement said.
Destario researched in Kalimantan while O’Byrne and Wood were working in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
Dendrobium flos-wanua was named after Vincent Wanua, an orchid enthusiast from Malang, East Java, who contributed to the research. The species is yellowish green in color with squarish petals and two to eight flowers bloom in a single inflorescence.
Dendrobium dianae was named in honor of Dian Rachmawaty, an orchid conservationist. It has plain pale green to shiny deep yellow coloration with red stripes on its sepals and petals and from four to 12 flowers appear in a single inflorescence.
Destario, who is also a botanical researcher based at the Purwodadi Botanical Garden in East Java, said Dendrobium dianae’s uniqueness lay in its variety of colors, something rare for the calcarifera section.
“We discovered that there are at least five color variations of this species and their colors could vary widely,” he told the Jakarta Globe.
He also said that they found more members of the Dendrobium calcariferum section on the island than originally believed. The species were thought to be concentrated on the western part of Indonesia, mainly in Sumatra.
Kuswata Kartawinata, an expert on plant ecology at LIPI, has said that based on the geographical aspect, Indonesia is part of a “coherent floristic region” called Malesia, consisting of Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Timor Leste, whose vegetation is distinct from the surrounding regions within Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Australia.
Of the estimated 40,000 species of Malesian plants, Kuswata said, 30,000 grew in Indonesia. “This is equal to roughly 10 percent of the world’s flora,” he said.
However, he added that only 60 percent of the country’s native flowering plants have been systematically recorded.
Source: Jakarta Globe
Popularity: 4% [?]