Eighteen months after being discovered on Fiji’s Kadavu Island, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has confirmed the existence of a new flowering plant.
The plant belongs to the scarce Medinilla group and is one of nearly 200 known species, which includes several varieties found only in Fiji, a South Pacific island nation.
“Although the plant was first found in August of 2010, it has taken this long to go through the process and verify it,” Ewa Ewa Magiera, a spokeswoman for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, told Agence France-Presse.
The plant was found during a biodiversity assessment of Fiji’s Nakasaleka district carried out as part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Water and Nature Initiative, Magiera said.
There are some 193 known species of Medinilla in Madagascar, Africa, South Asia and the Pacific Islands, according to the conservation body.
Of the 11 that can only be found in Fiji, they include the Tagimoucia flower, the country’s floral emblem.