Environment: HÀ TĨNH, Viet Nam – New camellia species found in Hà Tĩnh national park


Camellia vuquangensis, a newly-found species in Hà Tĩnh’s Vũ Quang National Park. — Photo courtesy of the park

HÀ TĨNH — Scientists have announced the discovery of two new species of tea plant in the Vũ Quang National Park in the central province of Hà Tĩnh.

Park authorities earlier this week announced the discovery of Camellia vuquangensis and Camellia hatinhensis, which were found during biodiversity study trips conducted by the park scientists and their counterparts from Đà Lạt University.

Camellia vuquangensis is a 3-4m tall shrub tree species, with young branches and leaves coloured violet. Each branch has a single flower. The species was found in an area 50-100m above sea level and its habitat is thought to be near streams.

Camellia hatinhensis is a small tree species, with average heights of about 4-6m. Its young branches have fur. Single flowers grow on each branch. The species was found at a topography of 100-700m above sea level. It grows in the same habitat as Hopia mollissimaLithocarpus spBeilschmiedia balansae.

Both species have yellow flowers.

Park authorities have set up plans to protect the newly-found species. There are four camellia species found in the park, including the new ones.

There are 200 camellia species in existence around the world, of which 24 grow in Việt Nam. Scientists are concerned that the habitats of these species are under threat from illegal logging as well as development projects. — VNS

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