For our science and nature lovers, a new species of parasitic plant was discovered in the lowland forests of Yakushima (Kagoshima pref.).
Professor Suetsugu Kenji of Kobe University discovered the plant in October 2015. From the Kobe University Graduate School of Science:
This 5cm long plant species is closely related to the Sciaphila japonica of the Triuridaceae family. They determined that it was a different species from the following observations: the parts above ground are a dark purple, the filament of the male (staminate) flower is no higher than the anther, and the style of the female (pistillate) flower is club-shaped with multiple papillae.They named the new species Sciaphila yakushimensis (Suetsugu, Tsukaya & H. Ohashi) after its place of discovery.
Incidentally, Yakushima is also the forest that inspired the landscapes of Mononoke-hime.