Researchers from Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) and the National Museum have discovered a new plant species at Cerro Nara, a mountainous protected area near the country’s central Pacific coast.
The plant, which produces diminutive pink-petaled flowers and round, green fruits on a thin, climbing stem, has the scientific name Fevillea narae and is a member of the Cucurbitaceae plant family, which includes melons and gourds such as pumpkins and watermelons.
Although Fevillea narae belongs to a family of edible plants, it can’t be eaten by humans. Researchers said further studies are necessary to determine the plant’s particular role in its ecosystem, as well as to discover any possible economic uses.
The discovery was made by Daniel Santamaría of INBio and Armando Estrada of the National Museum.