First photos of our third Magnolia species

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My last post described the wave of unexpected new discoveries of Magnolia species in the Neotropics, and celebrated the publication of our second new Magnolia species, M. llanganatensis. In an earlier post I had mentioned a possible third species of Magnolia that our guards Luis and Fausto Recalde had found in our new “Forests in the Sky” reserve (see also here). Well, Luis and Fausto were at last able to photograph an open flower of this Magnolia. Dr Antonio Vazquez of Mexico has confirmed that it is indeed different from our other two new Magnolia species (M. llanganatensis and M. vargasiana); it is an as-yet-undescribed species that had been discovered recently in Antisana National Park just north of our area. Dr Vazquez is in the process of describing it as Magnolia mercedesiarum ined. The guards’ flower photos are the first ever taken of a live flower of this species! The flower that Dr Vazquez had used in his scientific description was a bud that he had boiled in order to open it.

I bet we still have more unknown Magnolia species in our reserves….

Lou Jost
EcoMinga

2 thoughts on “First photos of our third Magnolia species

  1. With my little bit of biological knowledge I sometimes do learn about a newly described living species. But here in the midwest of America the new things I’ve heard about are always little things such as insects. And those require dissecting microscopes to observe enough to exchange information.

    I do hope to visit Ecuador before I die. Regardless, knowing that new species of such large organisms as trees are being discovered there is quite exciting. I’m fortunate to be able to learn about such happenings through the internet.

    -Daniel Thompson

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