New Ecuadorean tree species named after Attenborough

This video is about parrots at clay licks in Ecuador.

From the World Land Trust:

Spectacular New Species of Tree Named in Honour of Sir David Attenborough

June 2009 – Blakea attenboroughii is now the official scientific name of a spectacular new species of tree found only in Ecuador. This beautiful tree, with magnificent bright blue flowers, has now been formally described and published in the Proceedings of the Californian Academy of Science, and named in honour of the great natural historian and World Land Trust patron, Sir David Attenborough.

In November 2007 Lou Jost, an American Botanist who works with the World Land Trust’s Ecuadorian project partners, Fundación EcoMinga, was taking a WLT staff member and also a representative from WLT’s company sponsors, Puro Coffee, to visit the newly created nature reserve at Cerro Candelaria in Ecuador, when they found what they thought might be a species of tree new to science.

Lou’s suspicions proved correct and the tree has now features in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Science, under the name of Blakea attenboroughii. It was felt appropriate to name the tree in honour of Sir David Attenborough who has supported the World Land Trust since its foundation and has been its patron since 2004 when he launched a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of a rainforest reserve in Ecuador.

This is no ordinary tree — it is, so far, only known to occur in a tiny area of Ecuador (though further research may find it further a field) — and it has spectacular bright blue flowers. The reserve areas purchased by local Ecuadorian conservation groups, with funding from the World Land Trust, are proving to be a real treasure trove of biodiversity with many new species of orchid being discovered — some of which are being named after sponsors of the land purchase — as well as new species of frog and other wildlife.

6 thoughts on “New Ecuadorean tree species named after Attenborough

  1. National Day of Ecuador
    August 9, 2009, 6:52pm

    Today is the National Day of Ecuador.

    Ecuador is situated in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, by Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean on the west. The country also includes the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific, about 965 kilometers west of the mainland. Ecuador straddles the equator, from which it takes its name. Its capital city is Quito; its largest city is Guayaquil.

    About three hundred years of Spanish colonization, Quito was a city of around ten thousand inhabitants when, on August 10, 1809, the first call for independence from Spain in Latin America (“Primer Grito de la Independencia’’) was made there. It was also near Quito, at the Battle of Pichincha in 1822 that Ecuador, under the leadership of Antonio José de Sucre, joined Simón Bolívar’s Republic of Gran Colombia. It became a separate republic in 1830.

    Ecuador has substantial petroleum resources and rich agricultural area. Because the country exports primary products such as oil, bananas, flowers, and shrimp, fluctuations in world market prices can have a substantial domestic impact. Industry is largely oriented to servicing the domestic market, and some exports to the Andean Common market.

    We congratulate the people and government of Ecuador led by H.E., President Rafael Correa, and its Consulate in the Philippines, headed by Consul Oscar Hilado, on the occasion of their National Day. We wish them success in all their endeavors.


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