Scientists discover new giant water lily species 科學家發現世界最大巨型睡蓮品種

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Scientists discover new giant water lily species 科學家發現世界最大巨型睡蓮品種

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They’re a marvel of the botanical world – giant water lilies dominating the pond in Kew Gardens.

它們是植物界的一個奇蹟——巨型睡蓮佈滿了邱園的池塘。

But these aren’t just extraordinary to look at, they’re also a species that’s new to science.

但這種巨型睡蓮不僅外觀奇特,也是被科學界認定的新品種。

Rebecca Morelle, BBC correspondent
“They are huge, aren’t they? And they feel so strong when you press down on them.”

麗貝卡‧莫雷爾       BBC通訊員
「它們可真大呀!而且在按下去時,可以感到它很結實。」

Carlos Magdalena, Horticulturist, RBG Kew
“Under the pad, there is a network of nerves and they’re filled with air.”

卡洛斯‧馬格達勒納       英國皇家植物園邱園 園藝師
「浮葉下面長有神經脈絡,裡面充滿了空氣。」

For years, these plants were thought to be another species. But scientists suspected this wasn’t the case.

多年來,人們認為這個植物屬於另一個品種,但科學家們對此持懷疑態度。

Carlos Magdalena, Horticulturist, RBG Kew
“When you think this is a new species, you have to demonstrate it. And this is what we have done. This is one of those things which I cannot really put into words, you know. I believe this is the highlight of my career.”

卡洛斯‧馬格達勒納       英國皇家植物園邱園 園藝師
「如果你認為這是一個新品種,得有據可尋,我們給了證據,這是讓我無以言表的一件事情,是我職業生涯中的亮點。」

And this new species is called Victoria Boliviana, named after Bolivia, where it grows in the wild.

這個新品種叫作 「玻利維亞巨型睡蓮」,以其野外生長地玻利維亞命名。

Rebecca Morelle, BBC correspondent
“Standing here, you really get a sense of just how huge this is. This is one plant and it’s still growing. Not only is this the first discovery of a new giant water lily species in more than 100 years. It’s also now the biggest water lily in the world, with leaves that grow to more than three metres. That’s ten feet in size.”

麗貝卡‧莫雷爾       BBC通訊員
「站在這裡,你能實實在在地感受到這些葉片是多麼的大。這些葉片都是同一個植株長出來的,它還在生長,這不僅是100多年來首次發現的新巨型睡蓮品種,它還是目前世界上最大的睡蓮,葉片直徑可達三米多,相當於10英呎。」

Astonishingly, the new species had been hiding in Kew’s archives for more than 150 years. A specimen was collected and dried and stored, but wrongly identified.

令人驚訝的是,這個新品種其實在150多年前就被收錄在邱園的檔案中,當時收集的標本待乾燥好後被保存了起來,但對其品種的鑑定有誤。

The discovery now brings the number of giant water lily species to three – and a key part of studying them is to make detailed botanical drawings.

這一發現使巨型睡蓮的品種增加到了三種,研究這些品種的一大關鍵是繪製詳細的植物學圖畫。

Lucy Smith, Botanical artist
“This is the open flower of the new species. Maybe I’m biased, but out of the three species I think it’s one of the most beautiful flowers.”

露西‧史密斯       植物藝術家
「這是新巨型睡蓮品種綻開的花。我可能有些偏心,但在三個品種中,我認為它是最美的花。」

Drawings of the different water lilies revealed their unique features.

不同睡蓮品種的繪圖展現了它們各自的獨特之處。

Lucy Smith, Botanical artist
“I could, as an illustrator, highlight those differences that I saw. And in fact, while I was drawing those differences, they became even stronger in my mind, and I found new ways of telling them apart.”

露西‧史密斯       植物藝術家
「作為一名插圖畫家,畫圖時我可以突出我所看到的差異,事實上,在繪製這些睡蓮的差異時,它們在我的腦海裡變得更鮮明,讓我找到了透過圖畫展示不同品種的新方法。」

The Waterlily House at Kew was built in the 1800s to showcase these natural wonders of the Victorian age.

邱園的睡蓮溫室建於19世紀,用來展示維多利亞時代的自然奇觀。

But this new discovery shows that even today, these giants hold some surprises – and scientists say they still have much to learn about these remarkable plants.

但這個新發現表明,即使在今天,這個巨大的品種仍給人帶來驚喜,科學家說,對這些了不起的植物還有許多需要學習瞭解的地方。