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New orchid is being compared to the devil. Can you see it?

All photos courtesy: Marta Kolanowska.

All photos courtesy: Marta Kolanowska.

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, July 14, 2016, 6:26 PM - A new species of orchid found in Colombia has been named Telipogon diabolicus, because the heart of the flower bears an eerie resemblance to popular literary depictions of a devil's head.

There aren't many flowers of this kind in existence.

Researchers found a small patch of about 30 between the borders of two Colombian departments. So far, this is its only known habitat.

Dr. Marta Kolanowska and Prof. Dariusz Szlachetko of the University of Gdansk in Poland, along with Dr. Ramiro Medina Trejo of Colombia, are being credited with the discovery.

Because of its restricted habitat, researchers have assigned the flower a critically endangered species designation on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List.

While the flower resembles other species, it's 'devil's head' and clawed petals set it apart from anything else in the area.

Researchers say the new discovery is just one of potentially hundreds of previously-unknown orchids in Colombia.

"There is no doubt that hundreds of species occurring in this country remain undiscovered. Only in 2015 over 20 novelties were published based on material collected in Colombia," the authors note.

A complete write up on Telipogon diabolicus can be found in Phytokeys.

Source: Phytokeys

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