Botanists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a beautiful new tree species from the coffee family. They were conducting an ecological survey in Honduras when making the find, but, sadly, the species has been immediately placed under the critically endangered banner of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The ten-metre-tall tree, which boasts gorgeous cream-coloured flowers and cherry-like fruits, has been named Sommera cusucoana. The name stems from it being found in the Cusuco National Park; it has so far not been recorded growing anywhere else, and is growing less than 0.5 km from clear-fell logging sites.
The find has been recently described in the international journal PhytoKeys. The article can be viewed here.
Dr Daniel Kelly, Professor Emeritus in Trinity’s Botany department in the School of Natural Sciences, led the party that conducted the surveys as part of a broader set coordinated by Operation Wallacea, an international organisation that deals with biodiversity and conservation management research programmes.