Two new orchid species from the Philippines were published by the Cootes Orchid Research Group (CORG) in the latest volume of the Orchideen Journal.
Described by researchers Miguel De Leon, Jim Cootes, Derek Cabactulan and Rey Pimentel, these findings highlight the luxuriant mega-biodiversity of the Philippines. According to CORG director Dr. De Leon, the ongoing revelation of such rare and delicate plant species—what he calls “the living jewels of the Archipelago”—is a call for greater vigilance in conservation.
Dr. De Leon is a retinal surgeon and a field biologist from Cagayan de Oro. If he is not re-attaching detached retinas and making the blind see, he is in the woods – sometimes up in a tree, sometimes flat on his belly on the forest floor, always with a camera in hand.
He chose the names for the two newly described flowers: Aerides turma and Aerides turma fma. anniversarius. Turma is Latin for “batch” and both are named after his colleagues, the batch 1995 from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.
The second orchid was named specifically to commemorate their 25th anniversary this year.