New Orchid 'Spiranthes Hachijoensis' Discovered in Japan

Japan's new pink orchid resembles a delicate glasswork appearance and is going to be a boom in the orchid world.

By: THURSD. | 05-04-2023 | 3 min read
New pink orchid species discovered header

A newly discovered pink orchid species recently found in Japan sprouts like airy glasswork and orchid lovers are actually in shock at what this new species is going to bring to the flower world. Find out everything about 'Spiranthes Hachijoensis'.

‘Spiranthes Hachijoensis’ Is the New Orchid Species Found in Japan

A new orchid species that gracefully grows like glass art was recently found in Japan by a multi-institutional team of researchers that included Kenji Suetsugu, Shun K. Hirota, Hiroshi Hayakawa, Shohei Fujimori, Masayuki Ishibashi, Tian-Chuan Hsu, and Yoshihisa Suyama. The fragile petals of the pink flower and its airy opening, which appear to sparkle like silver glitters, sprout, fold, and bend delicately.


Spiranthes Hachijoensis
Spiranthes Hachijoensis

Even though Japan has been thoroughly investigated and documented for its flora habitat, the researchers point out that it is uncommon for a new plant species to be identified there. Nevertheless, when they came upon the rosy pink orchid close to Hachijo Island in Tokyo Prefecture, they named it 'Spiranthes hachijoensis' in honor of the area where it first appeared.


New orchid discovery in Japan


In addition to common locations like lawns and parks, like private gardens and balconies, the new pink orchid species in Japan can also be found there. According to the team's investigation, other novel species could be concealed in common locations. This claim suggests that scientific breakthroughs could be right beneath researchers' noses, encouraging them to explore their backyards rather than far-off tropical rainforests.

New Member in the Spiranthes Genus

The study's authors, who come with educational backgrounds from Kobe University, Tohoku University, and Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, among others, claim that the Spiranthes genus of orchids has a wide range of tempting morphological traits within its alluring facets and variety. The term 'ladies' tresses' is used to describe the tiny, spiral-shaped blooms that are produced by the genus. They wrap themselves around a central stem and are frequently white or pinkish, similar to the recently discovered pink orchid species.


Front view of Spiranthes Hachijoensis


Spiranthes, which has long been respected in Japan, is the most well-known and adored orchid there. Even the Manyoshu, the oldest extant collection of poetry from Japan, mentions it. For the longest time, it was thought that the Spiranthes on the Japanese mainland consisted of just a single species, Spiranthes australis. So, evidently, discovering the new pink orchid species is quite a significant discovery for the Japanese study team. In the Japanese mainland, Professor Suetsugu discovered many populations of an unidentified Spiranthes taxon with hairless flower stems.

Professor Suetsugu believed that the hairless beings he saw might have been an underappreciated species because the so-called only-orchid-genus Spiranthes australis is distinguished by a hairy blossom stalk. Suetsugu and his colleagues collected specimens from diverse areas in Japan, Taiwan, and Laos as part of their extensive and varied ten-year investigation to ascertain precisely how these plants differed. They combined the findings from their DNA research with those from their morphology, field observations, and reproductive biology to uncover the new pink orchid in Japan.


Newly discovered pink orchid species Spiranthes Hachijoensis


New flower and plant discoveries are always a great way to start your day because it means that soon enough, these orchids will be found in many other places worldwide and even become one of your favorites in the future.


Photos by Masayuki Ishibashi and Kenji Suetsugu (Researchers).



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