New flower species found in southern Vietnam

By Thanh Nien News, TN News

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The Camellia longii flowers found in Cat Loc Forest in Dong Nai Province / Photo courtesy of the Southern Institute of Ecology 
Scientists have announced the discovery of two new species of camellia flower in the southern Annamite Mountains of Vietnam, the Nordic Journal of Botany reported in its February issue.
The two new species were named Camellia longii and Camellia curryana. The former was first discovered by Vu Ngoc Long, director of the Southern Institute of Ecology, while he was leading a team to survey the environment in the area of two planned hydropower projects in Cat Loc Forest in Dong Nai Province’s Cat Tien District two years ago, according to the institute website.
The latter is situated on the foot hills of an unnamed mountain on the Da Lat Plateau in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. The species’ precise provenance details have been withheld for conservation reasons.
The two species are endemic to tropical rainforest remnants that occur at altitudes between 1500 and 1700 meters above sea level.
Almost 20 percent of currently recognized Camellia species occur within the territory of Vietnam, according to the Nordic Journal of Botany.
Traditionally, it was believed, that the greatest concentration of Vietnamese Camellia species could be found in the northern provinces of the country, with estimates of species numbers varying from 14 to 20.
New discoveries considerably enlarged the number of southern Vietnamese Camellia species and clearly indicated that the mountainous areas of the southern Vietnamese provinces may be as rich as are those of the north.

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