April 19, 2024

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An unprecedented underground plant with astonishing properties discovered by science

An unprecedented underground plant with astonishing properties discovered by science

While most plants grow above ground, this palm grows underground. The discovery was published Monday, June 26, 2023, in the journal Palms and Journals by researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (England). Plants, People, Planet.

Baptized Pinanga undergroundSpecies discovered on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo flower a few centimeters underground, while most plants swarm above ground to allow pollination and seed dispersal.

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A rare plant species

After Malaysian botanist Paul Tsai discovered the plant in 1997, scientists were alarmed. This discovery is surprising and exciting to scientists. So far, only one species with only underground life characteristics has been discovered. This is about Rizantella GardneriAn orchid native to Western Australia.

The plant grows underground at a depth of 6 to 30 cm seeker Étienne Delannoy, from the National Agricultural Research Institute (INRA).

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there Pinanga underground Male and female flowers are divided into small clusters. Young fruits turn white before turning red as they ripen. Its length is not more than two centimeters.

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“alarm signal”

This discovery shook scientific convictions Guardian Botany professor Benedikt Kuhnhäser is one of the lead authors of the study. “Currently, most botanists focus on the aerial life of plants. This new subterranean palm, along with the recent discovery of the first subterranean pitcher plant, Nepenthes pudica, is a wake-up call for scientists to look beyond the immediately visible and expect the unexpected..”

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There are 2,500 species of palm trees listed in the world. About 300 of them are rooted in the island of Borneo, shared between Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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