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BRIN researchers discover seven new plant species

ANN/THE JAKARTA POST – The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has recently announced the discovery of seven new ornamental plant species in Indonesia.

The seven new species are Hoya batutikarensis, Hoya buntokensis, Dendrobium dedeksantosoi, Rigiolepis argentii, Begonia robii, Begonia willemii and Etlingera comosa. Researchers also discovered a subspecies of Zingiber ultralimitale.

The recent discoveries add to Indonesia’s rich biodiversity and could launch further research, particularly to study the use of the plants for medical treatment.

Head of the plant conservation and botanical gardens research centre at BRIN Sukma Surya Kusumah said the research centre would continue to conduct exploration and identification of plant species in their natural habitats, in line with their programme to conserve plant species that face the risk of extinction.

Researcher at the centre Wisnu Handoyo Ardi said Indonesia had diverse begonia species, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the species identified globally – making it one of the most biodiverse countries in Southeast Asia for begonia.

As many as 2,052 begonia species have been identified around the world, of which 243 are found in Indonesia. The figure will likely go up, Wisnu said, as researchers continued to discover new begonia species in Indonesia’s forests.

Rigiolepis Argentii, one of seven new plant species discovered by researchers from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). PHOTO: BRIN
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