From Gabon, there's a new tree species, Sirdavidia solannona, shown here, which was found just a few meters from the main road in the Monts de Cristal National Park. It's less than 20 feet high with a diameter of only four inches. The tree is related to the Annonaceae family of flowering plants, but it is so different that it is described as new genus. Its closest relative is a genus with a single species, Mwasumbia, found in Tanzania. The flowers resemble those in the nightshade family that are associated with so-called "buzz" pollination, in which the flowers have petals that expose the stamens and pistils. Bees "sonicate" the flowers and spread pollen by creating vibrations with their wings.
And from Brazil, there's a new carnivorous plant, Drosera magnifica, the Giant Sundew, believed to be the first plant discovered through photos posted on Facebook. It's the largest sundew in the Americas, attaining a height of 48 inches. The sundew genus has nearly 200 species in all, and this new one, like others in the genus, secretes a thick mucus on the surface of its leaves that traps insects and then digests them to compensate for poor nutrients in the soil. This new sundew is also critically endangered, as it is found only at the top of a single Brazilian peak at 5000 feet above sea level.
To see all of the new top 10 species, visit the ESF website here.