A research team in southwest China's Yunnan Province said they had found a tropical monsoon forest community of Pterocymbium macranthum, a member of the genus "Pterocymbium," marking the first time this genus has ever been found in China.
The tree species was discovered in the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, known for its well-preserved rainforest ecosystem.
Pterocymbium macranthum has orange-yellow to orange-red gradient flowers and a trunk that can grow up to 35 to 45 meters in height, according to Tan Yunhong, a professor at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"Pterocymbium macranthum is mainly distributed in Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar and Thailand. We speculated that it might also be found in Xishuangbanna, and the discovery confirmed this," Tan said.
With high research and conservation values, Pterocymbium macranthum demonstrates the rich biodiversity of China's tropical rainforests. Next, the nature reserve will conduct in-depth investigations into the plant's population distribution, habitat quality and conservation status.