‘World’s ugliest orchid’ among the new plants discovered in 2020

Botanists at London’s Kew Gardens have identified a new plant described as ‘the ugliest orchid in the world.’

Gastrodia agnicellus is among 156 plants and fungi from around the world found and officially named this year by experts at the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens and collaborators in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

The ‘ugliest orchid in the world’ was among 10 discoveries the botanists chose to highlight, as they represent the “amazing breadth of new species named every year and highlight the incredible diversity of species out there still to be found and documented.”

The orchid was discovered in deep shade underneath leaves on the forest floor in Madagascar. Its 11 millimeter flowers are described by scientists as “small, brown and rather ugly.” But this headline-grabbing list has another, more virtuous aim.

Botanist Martin Cheek said, “Among this list are some amazing new finds for science, each with their own unique qualities and potential for humanity.”

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