The ultimate Valentine's Day gift for plant lovers

February 12, 2016

Most people looking to celebrate Valentine's Day this year will settle for a box of chocolates and a dozen roses for their significant other. But a new plant just discovered in Hawaii might offer plant lovers the ultimate Valentine's Day gift.

According to research published today in PhytoKeys, a new species of plant called Coprosma cordicarpa, that coincidentally bears a heart-shaped fruit, was recently discovered in Maui. What could be more romantic than a trip to Maui to see heart-shaped ?

Jason Cantley, Burpee post doctoral fellow at Bucknell University, says the new plant differs greatly from other currently recognized species of Coprosma in the Hawaiian Islands.

If you want to see the heart-shaped fruit for yourself, you'll need to wait to book your trip for later this year. Flowering occurs during the dry season, and fruits appear most mature shortly preceding the wettest months of December and January.

The payoff might not be immediate, but most Valentines will be flattered even if they have to wait several months before they get their trip. The plant can be found primarily in open habitat receiving direct sunlight but was also observed in gulches and high elevation forests along the Kaupo Gap Trail.

If you happen to find it, take only pictures. Coprosma cordicarpa is designated in the Vulnerable category as a threatened and indicates that the newly discovered plant faces a high risk of extinction in the wild without active conservation management. As much as a bouquet of heart-shaped fruit would further impress your significant other, the memory itself will have to suffice.

Explore further: Seagrass doubles its chances in last-ditch reproductive strategy

More information: Jason T. Cantley et al. New and resurrected Hawaiian species of pilo (Coprosma, Rubiaceae) from the island of Maui, PhytoKeys (2016). DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.60.6465

Related Stories

A new blueberry for home growers

June 22, 2015

The Agricultural Research Service was awarded a plant patent for Nocturne, a new blueberry cultivar. The new blueberry was developed at ARS's Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory in their satellite location ...

Brother of Hibiscus is found alive and well on Maui

July 31, 2014

Most people are familiar with Hibiscus flowers- they are an iconic symbol of tropical resorts worldwide where they are commonly planted in the landscape. Some, like Hawaii's State Flower- Hibiscus brackenridgei- are endangered ...

Uncooperative snottygobble coughs up germination secrets

June 18, 2015

The phrase might be associated with a bad cold but a mystery surrounding WA's strangely named snottygobble tree (Persoonia longifolia R.Br.) is about to be cleared up, with a study into the plant's germination triggers entering ...

Recommended for you

Protein disrupts infectious biofilms

December 8, 2016

Many infectious pathogens are difficult to treat because they develop into biofilms, layers of metabolically active but slowly growing bacteria embedded in a protective layer of slime, which are inherently more resistant ...

The song of silence

December 8, 2016

Like humans learning to speak, juvenile birds learn to sing by mimicking vocalizations of adults of the same species during development. Juvenile birds preferentially learn the song of their own species, even in noisy environments ...

An anti-CRISPR for gene editing

December 8, 2016

Researchers have discovered a way to program cells to inhibit CRISPR-Cas9 activity. "Anti-CRISPR" proteins had previously been isolated from viruses that infect bacteria, but now University of Toronto and University of Massachusetts ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.