Face to face with a new species for the first time

by Charles Stirton February. 07, 2012 5282 views

I want to share with you in pictures some of the joy and thrill of seeing a new species in the fiield for the first time having only known it as new from dried plant collections.

This is the story of the Pearl-flowered Fountain bush (Psoralea margaretiflora). The full story is given in Phytokeys [pensoft.net]- an Open Access journal where Ralph Clark and I described the species. If you want to see what the scientific paper looks like you can see it free. Click here [pensoft.net].

The Camdeboo Mountains in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa - Our destination.

Towards the summit.

Part of the Escarpment.

The mist sets in.

Our expedition traverses through the mist.

First sight of the new undescribed Pearl-flowered Psoralea.

Thw closer I got the more convinced I was that it was indeed new.

Two of my companions Dr. Peter West (Australian Plant Systematist and Proteaceae expert ) and Dr. Michael Stiller ( South African Entomologist) inspecting the plant.

Once I saw the flowers I knew it was a new species.

A side-view of the flowers. White and cream flowers are rare in this genus. They are usually blue or purple.

Finally, here is a composite plate of the species. It is called Psoralea margaretiflora in allusion to the pale pearl-like appearance of the flowers in the early morning mist.

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Dzmitry Samakhvalau 8 years, 8 months ago


8 years, 8 months ago Edited
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