Checklist of Vascular Plants Unveils Flora of Taita Hills in Kenya

By | Botany, CSPB, News

As a part of the global biodiversity hotspots, the Taita Hills forests, located in Taita Taveta County in southeastern Kenya, forms the northernmost tip of the Eastern Arc Mountains. They are highly fragmented forests embedded in a human settlements and farms on the slopes and hilltops, resulting in the loss of 98% of the original forest cover on those mountains.  Despite several botanical explorations and extensive floristic studies in these mountainous areas, there is a clear lack of sufficient literature on the flora and vegetation of the area. Through a joint effort, several field expeditions were carried out between 2015 and 2019, with an effort put to expand geographical coverage to areas where plant collections were previously scarce.  

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Researchers Discover World’s Earliest Fossil Record of Flower Buds

By | CSPB, News, Research

Angiosperms may be distinguished from their gymnosperm peers by their flowers, and thus a flower is a good proxy of fossil angiosperms. However, flowers and their parts are usually too frail to be preserved in the fossil, which makes the origin of angiosperms and their flowers the foci of controversy. Recently, researchers reported a fossil flower bud, Florigerminis jurassica gen. et sp. nov., from the Jurassic in Inner Mongolia, China. This is the earliest fossil record of flower buds in the world so far. 

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