The World’s Most Endangered Flowering Plant

The world’s most endangered flowering plant is probably Friesodielsia lalisae Damth. There is only one known flowering example in the world. The flowering plant was discovered in the southernmost province of Narathiwat, in Thailand.

Named after the national pop hero of the day Laisa, the moniker given to this one of a kind is “Bunga Lalisa” in honour of Lisa, whose Thai name is Lalisa Manobal. The poetic Thai word “bunga”, which means flower, is borrowed from Malay and Indonesian.

Researcher Anissara Damthongdee found great inspiration in Lalisa, as mentioned in the team’s report detailing their discovery.

In addition to Anissara, a doctoral candidate specializing in biodiversity and ethnobiology at Chiang Mai University, the team comprises Tanawat Chaowasku, an assistant professor at the university, and Abdulromea Baka, associated with the Plant Diversity group.

The research report states, “The newly discovered species is named as a tribute to Lalisa Manobal, a renowned Thai rapper, singer, and dancer. Her motivation significantly fueled the primary author in overcoming various challenges during her PhD studies.”

Type of Flowering Plant

  • Bunga Lalisa is a climbing plant with fragrant flowers in the Annonaceae family. Its scientific name is Friesodielsia lalisae Damth., Baka & Chaowasku.
  • Only 2 plants have been found.
  • The plant, which belongs to the Annonaceae family, is fragrant.

Due to the discovery of only a single pair of the plant, the research team has recommended classifying the plant as “critically endangered” according to the standards set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The team emphasizes the urgent need for conservation efforts, stating, “Immediate initiation of conservation efforts is essential.”

Tanawat suggests that additional research should be carried out on this recently identified plant to explore its potential for the development of new medicines.

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