Rare orchid found by Kew botanists on Sao Jorge

Two British botanists have uncovered one of the world’s rarest orchids on a remote volcanic ridge on Sao Jorge island in the Azores.

The experts, Professor Richard Bateman and Dr Paula Rudall, from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew found just 250 of the unique plants on the island, making it the rarest species in Europe. However, the British experts later found that the newly-named Hochstetter Butterfly Orchid was first discovered 175 years ago in 1838 by a young German explorer – Karl Hochstetter – who documented the exceptionally uncommon plant without realising its rarity.

Hochstetter's butterfly-orchid
Hochstetter’s butterfly-orchid

As far as we know, this dramatic mountain ridge is the only place in the world, this species can be found.

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