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New plant species discovered in Albay, named after late Bicolano biologist

A collaboration between researchers from the Philippine Taxonomic Initiative (PTI) and Bicol University has unearthed a new species of begonia in Albay.

According to the researchers in a statement, the species has been given the scientific name B. francisabuidii after Bicolano conservation biologist Francis Gregor P. Abuid, who passed away last year at the age of 25.

The plant was named after Abuid in honor of his efforts in inspiring young Bicolanos to protect, conserve and study the biodiversity of the Bicol Region.

The statement added that while the new species resembles another species, B. madulidii, it is distinguished by “shorter and puberulent rhizomes, densely hirsute stipules, reddish and pubescent petiole, smaller leaves, puberulous panicle, smaller bracts and 4-petaled pistillate flower.”

“Although newly described, B. francisabuidii is proposed to be placed in the Critically Endangered (CR) category, based on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list categories and criterion,” the researchers said in a statement on Monday. — Richa Noriega/BM, GMA News