Botanists identify new flowers and mosses in Spain

Some of the new species have been given unusual names, one has been called 'Carex leviosa', after a spell used by Harry Potter

DOMENIC CHIAPPE

Independent researchers from Malaga, Pedro Gómez and Irene Arellano, were on an expedition through the Sierra de Camarolos, in Antequera, last year when they noticed an unusual daffodil. After studying it, they realised they had found a previously unrecorded botanical species that grows in the mountains of Cáceres, Cordoba, Malaga, Badajoz and Ciudad Real. They called it 'Narcissus ramirezii' which lives in humid meadows more than 1,000 metres high.

The bright yellow, bell-shaped flower is one of 23 new species catalogued within Spanish territory in 2021 including in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, according to the Spanish Botanical Society (Sebot).

"Both mainland Spain and the archipelagos of the Balearic and Canary Islands are part of the 'hot spot' for biodiversity in the Mediterranean, the region has one of the world’s highest concentration of species,” said Ignacio Ramos, Biology researcher at the University Autonomous of Madrid (UAM) and member of the Sebot.

“Our high diversity of plants is explained by the complexity and variety of our territory in terms of relief, climate and soil, by our location between Africa and the rest of Europe and by a complex history of climatic and geographical changes over millions of years,” he added.

The unique species that have now been catalogued include mosses, such as 'Fissidens eremicus', and three flowering plants linked to the families of daisies, and sedges.

Some of the new plants have garnered unusual names including 'Croton curculiospermus' because the seeds resemble the snout of a weevil and 'Carex leviosa', after a spell used by Harry Potter.