A new indigenous flora species has been found in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park of central Quang Binh province, according to a statement from the park’s management board on March 12.

“Bung buc Phong Nha”, scientifically named Mallotus phongnhaensis Thin & Kim Thanh, was discovered by botanists Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh and Nguyen Nghia Thin from the Hanoi-based Vietnam National University in the park’s Doc Tau area in mid-2006.

It belongs to section Axenfeldia, genus Mallotus – a genus of the spurge family Euphorbiaceae.

The plant is distinguished through several notable features including its shrubby habit up to 1 metre high, 6–12 sub-marginal extra-floral nectaries per side, and few flowers.

The discovery was recently published in The Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore magazine.

Deputy Director of the management board Dinh Huy Tri said the finding has not only scientific value but also contributes to the rich diversity of the park.

Covering an area of 85,754 hectares, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was recognised as a World Natural Heritage Site on geological and geomorphological criteria by UNESCO in 2003.

A large number of fauna and flora species exist within the property with 849 recorded vertebrate species, including a number of indigenous and endangered species such as tigers, Asiatic black bears, Asian elephants, giant muntjacs, Asian wild dogs, and the recently discovered Sao la deer.

The park is among the 238 most important ecological zones in the world.-VNA