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New species of passion flower discovered in Osa Peninsula

August 12, 2014

Adding to the already staggering amount of biodiversity in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, the country’s National Museum announced last week that a new species of passion flower has been discovered.

Passiflora soliana is a species of passion flower from the same genus as the plants that produce the maracuyá (passion fruit in English) and the grenadilla fruits. Of 505 species of passion flowers, only 20 exist outside of the Americas.

The new species of flower was discovered by Armando Estrada from the National Herbarium and independent researcher Gerardo Rivera. The pair published their findings in the July issue of the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

Currently the flower is believed to be endemic to the rain forests of the Osa Peninsula, in southern Costa Rica. The flower is found most often near riverbeds. With the discovery of the new plant there are now 52 known species of passion flowers native to Costa Rica. It is the first new species of passion flower discovered in the last 11 years.

 

 

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