Plant Named in Honor of Colombian President

IAS Prelims 2023

A new plant species from Northeastern Colombia has been named Espeletia praesidentis, in honour of efforts made by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to build peace in his country after over five decades of conflict.

The plant, from the genus Espeletia in the sunflower family, was discovered by a Colombian botanist from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The newly described species was collected during an expedition in 2009, while many parts of Colombia were in conflict and dangerous or inaccessible, and during which the researcher, Dr Mauricio Diazgranados, met with left-wing armed members of FARC.

It was found 28 km south of the city of Chitagá in the Páramo de Presidente ecosystem.

The new species discovered is endemic to Colombia and is only known from the Páramo de Presidente, at elevations of 3400-3600 m.