COSTA RICA NEWS – The new flower, discovered on the banks of the Bellavista River in heavily wet Osa, is 100% Costa Rican. It is a new species of the so-called “passion flower,” Passiflora soliana, with a delicate white bloom with a green center.
The new contribution to the world of flora has a blossom 4.3 centimeters in diameter. Found in the Piedras Blancas area of Osa canton, it was described by forestry engineer Armando Estrada and biologist Gerardo Rivera.
It is not unusual to find nature scientists of several disciplines in Costa Rica going on expeditions together and so it was with Estrada and Rivera. The pair were combing the ecological reserve area known as Finca Bellavista.
“This variety belongs to the maracuya and granadilla varieties. The the passifloras are species characterized by their remarkable blossoms and their edible fruits as well as for medicinal and ornamental properties,” explained Estrada, “They are host to butterflies of the Heliconius genus.”
Their article in the scientific Journal of the Biological Research Institute of Texas underscores that the flower is only found in this country. It is a vine found only in very wet forest areas around 300 feet above sea level. It blooms only in February.
Estrada told La Nacion that it was welcome to find the vine to add to the list because it enlarges the biodiversity of the country. The list of native plants here shows 9,400 differing species, he notes. The last new species was found in 2003 by J. M. MacDonald, another passiflora type.
Sources: iNews.co.cr; La Nacion; Finca Bella Vista