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Researchers in Thailand Discover Rare New Orchid Species

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Researchers in Thailand Discover Rare New Orchid Species

A rare new species of orchid named Aphyllorchis periactinantha has been discovered by researchers from Thailand’s Prince of Songkla University, was discovered at the Paribatra waterfall in the southern province of Songkhla.

Professor Sahut Chantanaorrapint, from the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science at Prince of Songkla University, told the Bangkok Post that the PhytoKeys, an international botanical journal, published their discovery.

According to Prof. Sahut, the Paribatra orchid was named after the waterfall where researchers discovered it.

Researchers in Thailand Discover Rare New Orchid Species

The mycoheterotrophic orchid is either partially or completely non-photosynthetic. Fungi provide it with energy and nutrients. According to him, the branch can grow up to 150 centimetres and is covered in flowers.

The flowers are white and soft yellow in colour, and they bloom from October to December. Prof. Sahut added that the petals of the orchid have floral symmetry.

Aphyllorchis periactinantha can be found in Ban Yang Ko community forest in Songkhla, as well as Yala and Narathiwat provinces in southern Thailand, in addition to the Paribatra waterfall.

Researchers in Thailand Discover Rare New Orchid Species

According to Prof. Sahut, the orchid may not have much market value because it cannot be bred as an ornamental plant, but it could be used to promote ecotourism.

Prior to the discovery, Prof. Sahut stated that the area around the Paribatra waterfall had been developed as a tourist destination.

Staff from Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary were later assigned to manage its ecological restoration, which resulted in the growth of local bacteria and fungi that are beneficial to mycoheterotrophic plants.

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