New plant species discovered in China's Yunnan

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A team of Chinese researchers has discovered a new species of Apocynaceae in southwest China's Yunnan Province and named it Hoya gaoligongensis, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) said.

Scientists from the Kunming Institute of Survey and Design under the NFGA found a previously unknown Hoya of Apocynaceae in Longling Xiaoheishan Provincial Nature Reserve, located in the southern region of Gaoligong Mountains.

Hoyas are also known as wax plants and commonly used as indoor ornamental plants. The new species, however, has an extremely small population and is found in primary forests of only three counties -- Longling, Gongshan and Deqin -- in western and northwestern Yunnan, said Zhao Mingxu, a scientist from the institute.

Zhao described Hoya gaoligongensis as an epiphytic climbing liana with oblong, long-oblanceolate, or spatulate leaf blades. Its hemispherical-shaped inflorescences consist of many fragrant flowers.

The discovery has increased China's Hoya species to 48 with one variety, according to researchers, who published the study in the journal Phytotaxa.

Local authorities said they will enhance the protection and monitoring of biodiversity in the local nature reserve. Enditem