New plants are discovered and known plants enter extinction. It's a cycle that environmentalists would like to go one way only - their preference is that nothing becomes extinct.
But don't let that concern for what is lost, keep the excitement down when an undescribed, new Aroid like the one pictured here, is found. Click here and here to see more photos taken by Elizabeth Campbell.
Here's what Campbell said about the plant in an email exchange.
"...basically it is a large, free-standing (trunked) Anthurium from Section Belolonchium, and very little else is known about it.
It's currently only known in cultivation at the Quito Botanical Gardens in Ecuador, where the photos were taken; staff there think it was rescued from an oil pipeline cut in the cloud forests above the town of Mindo in Ecuador, but as it was about 10 years ago that it was collected they are not at all certain.
Dr. Tom Croat of the Missouri Botanical Gardens had a look at it and told me that it wasn't A. angamarcanum as I had previously thought, but an entirely new species. He pointed out that the inflorescence was different from anything else he'd ever seen in the section.
I'll be going hunting for this plant in the wild in the coming year and hope to find it in its natural habitat so that a type specimen can be made and the species properly described and named."
Campbell's blog is called "I Speak for the Trees: A Photo A Day of Plants In Ecuador" and here is a link to her fascinating site.
Take time to look at the posts - it's a window into a world most of us will never have an opportunity to experience first hand.