Two New Tropical Plant Species Discovered in Borneo

Posted on July 22, 2015

Hoya ruthiae plant in Borneo

Two new species of tropical plants have been discovered in Borneo. The plants both belong to the Hoya genus, which is one of the biggest and most complex plant groups in Asia.

A research paper by Dr. Michele Rodda describes the two new tropical plants. The first species, H. ruthiae, is pictured above. It was first collected by botanist Ruth Kiew in Sabah in 2000. The plant is named after Ruth. It grows only on limestone. Its conservation status is not yet known.

The second plant identified is named H. bakoensis. It was collected by Dr. Rodda. It is named after the sole location it is known to grow, the Bako National Park in Malaysia. It prefers moist kerangas heath forests and most often sprouts its seedlings from small ant nests found in hollow tree trunks. The photograph below is of H. bakoensis. H. bakoensis has smaller flowers than its relatives.

Hoya bakoensis plant in Borneo

The research paper on the new Borneo tropical plants can be found here in the journal, PhytoKeys.

Photos: Dr. Michele Rodda