New Species of Wild Flower Named After Sir David Attenborough

Posted on February 7, 2015

Attenborough's Hawkweed

A new species of wild flower has been named after being discovered over a decade ago in 2004 in the central Brecon Beacons in South Wales. The new species has been named Attenborough's Hawkweed (Hieracium attenboroughianum) in honor of naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough.

The plant was discovered in 2004 when Joe Daggett, Graham Motley, Tim Rich and Paul Smith were hunting for the rare Summit Hawkweed. The new species was named by plant taxonomist Dr. Tim Rich. It can be seen growing on a rocky ledge in the above photograph. The plant flowers in the summer. A Metro story says the yellow flowers can be seen in late June and early July. The plant is part of a group of plants that belong to the daisy family.

Dr. Rich says in a statement, "I decided to name this special little plant found in the mountains of the Brecon Beacons after David Attenborough as he inspired me to study ecology when I was 17. This is a personal thank you for the years of fascination he has given me going to different places to search for new things."

Sir David Attenborough now has eleven plants and animals named after him. He said in a statement, "I am thrilled that my name has been given to the delightful new species of hawkweed discovered in the Brecon Beacons. Bestowing a name on a new species is surely one of the greatest of biological compliments and I am truly grateful. It is an added joy that Hieracium attenboroughianum should be so beautiful and live in such a lovely part of the country."

Photo: Tim Rich/National Trust