Rare plant rediscovered on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

CHENGDU (XINHUA) – Chinese researchers have said an Aeschynanthus monetaria plant found on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in 2015 is a rare species that had not been seen for over 100 years.

According to a study published on the journal Phytotaxa, researchers from the Chengdu Institute of Biology (CIB) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said the species exists only in Tibet Autonomous Region’s Medog County. It was one of the significant achievements of the country’s second comprehensive scientific expedition to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

The specimen, which was recently identified as being different from other Aeschynanthus plants, was found in October 2015 during a study in the Yarlung Zangbo River valley at an altitude of 300 to 800 metres in Medog.

Researchers found only two previous specimens of the species in the world, both collected in Medog over 100 years ago.

Current data show that Aeschynanthus monetaria is only distributed in Medog, said Hu Jun from the CIB.