A poisonous mushroom collected from London Heathrow Airport, along with a particularly ugly orchid , top the list of 156 new plants and mushrooms from Kew Botanical Gardens worldwide for 2020.
In fact, a third of the new species are orchids; and a total of 19 orchids were found on the island of Nueva Guinea. In the next photo you can see an image of what is considered "the ugliest orchid in the world".
This year six new species of webcap toadstool mushrooms have been named in the UK, including Cortinarius heatherae (pictured at the top of this post), which was discovered along the river at the Heathrow airport boundary by the field mycologist Andy Overall . Other discoveries by scientists at Kew include:
- A Peruvian plant related to the sweet potato that could be a future food source.
- A rare and rare scaly shrub that grows in arid regions of Namibia, it has scaly leaves and grows in hot natural sand trays.
- A plant related to the pineapple, which is pollinated by hummingbirds, that lives on a limestone cliff in central Brazil, but is at risk of extinction due to the extraction of limestone to make cement.
- A shrub related to the cranberry found near the world’s largest gold mine in New Guinea, Indonesia.
- An herb with medicinal properties found in a forest on the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
- Two new species of Aloe (as in Aloe vera) from Madagascar.