A plant described as “the ugliest orchid in the world” is among the 156 new species identified and named by London’s Royal Botanic Gardens and its partners.
The Gastrodia agnicellus was found in a forest in Madagascar and its 11mm flowers “are small, brown and rather ugly”, researchers say.
The plants are normally known for their beauty.
“The orchid depends on fungi for nutrition and has no leaves or any other photosynthetic tissue,” they add in a statement.
Among other newly named plants was a “a strange shrub encountered by botanist Wessel Swanepoel in the semi-desert of southern Namibia”.
After investigation, researchers found that “the plant’s DNA fitted the cabbage order, but none of the known families in this order”.
The plant actually turned out to be part of a new genus and new family of plants and it has been called Tiganophyton karasense.
Tiganophyton translates as “frying pan plant” because of the shape of its leaves.