Japanese scientists have discovered new species of orchid with exquisite, glass-like pink and white plant flowers that was hiding in plain sight. Although being found in parks and gardens throughout Japan, it took scientists at Kobe University ten years to determine that the plant, identified as Spiranthes hachijoensis, belonged to a distinct species. The phytology professor added that some of the samples came from gardens and potted plants, including those that were stored at a high school in the Gifu district of central Japan. With its odd aspect and small blooms that resemble glasswork, this flower has long been admired by people, the institution said in a press release.
Even the oldest collection of poetry to be published in Japan, the eighth-century Manyoshu, made reference to the plant and its spiralling flowers. The Journal of Plant Research published an article last week announcing the discovery of a new species of spiranthes, also referred to as ladies’ tresses. As a result of the abundance of samples discovered on Tokyo’s Hachijojima island, it was given the name hachijoensis.
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