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Post Info TOPIC: Lao people registered new orchid species to the world

Lao people registered new orchid species to the world

What do you guys think about this discovery by Lao people?

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A new orchid species of the genus Paphiopedilum has been discovered in Borikhamxay province by an orchid lover, Mr Sulivong Luang Aphay.

He said he discovered the flower in January 2008 growing on a limestone outcrop. For the whole year of last year he sought to identify the flower and finally proposed it as a new species to world experts familiar with the genus Paphiopedilum.

He consulted Mr A. Schuiteman, a taxonomist at the National Herbarium of the Netherlands , Assoc.Prof. Dr Bouakhaykhone Svengsuksa of the National University of Laos , and Mr P. Bonnet, a botanist at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development.

Experts from these three institutes are involved in a project concerning the trade and conservation of orchids in Laos named ORCHIS.

They studied Mr Sulivong's new flower and gave it the scientific name of Paphiopedilum barbigerum var.sulivongii and announced it in the world's leading German orchid magazine “Orchideenjournal” as Paphiopedilum barbigerum TANG & F.T. WANG var.sulivongii SCHUIT & P. BONNET var.nov.

The new species was announced in the journal's February issue, the first to be published this year. Its scientific name is now recognised as valid worldwide, Mr Sulivong said.

Mr Schuiteman and Mr Bonnet said Paphiopedilum barbigerum TANG & F.T. WANG was the main Chinese species, which had some outlying and distinctive populations in Vietnam - Paphiopedilum barbigerum var.coccineum and Paphiopedilum barbigerum var.aspersum. Now the species Paphiopedilum barbigerum livongii has been identified in Laos .

Mr Shuiteman and Mr Bonnet said the new species differed from var.barbigerum in having much larger flowers, which were similar in size to those of var.coccineum.

Other differentiating features include broader leaves and a densely purple-veined dorsal sepal with branching veins, which distinguishes it from all other known forms of this species.

“Paphiopedilum species are considered to be endangered and all species of the genus are treated in accordance with Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora,” Mr Sulivong said.

Mr Sulivong has dedicated himself to the discovery and identification of orchids. He said his work was inspired by the German explorer Wilhelm Micholitz (1854-1932), who collected the Paphiopedilum gratrixianum almost 104 years ago in 1905 from the Annam region which is now part of Laos .

This species has been recorded as a native species of Laos , found in the south of the country.

He said about 66 Paphiopedilum species had been recorded worldwide.

Mr Sulivong has immersed himself in the study of all the Paphiopedilum species that grow wild in Laos , to make sure they are conserved.

He has found 10 Paphiopedilum species growing wild in the forests of Laos including Paphiopedilum sukhakulii, whose existence was previously unknown. 

By Phon Thikeo

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