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300 Years of Growth

Khaosokia caricoides, makes Species of the Day, on the UK's National History Museum website

23 November 2010

<img src="../../../assets/img/Khaosokia caricoides
Khaosokia caricoides
: male inflorescence © Rachun Pooma

To celebrate the UN's international Year of Biodiversity, The UK National History Museum are publishing a fact file on a different species every day during 2010. Each species has been chosen, explored, and written-up by a Museum scientist. This week they have highlighted Khaosokia caricoides, which is a rare and unusual species that was first discovered by staff from; the School of Natural Sciences; Royal Botanic Gardens Kew; and the Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, while on expedition in southern Thailand in 2001.  It is a robust perennial with many drooping leaves and flowering stems. It lives on inaccessible, and seemingly inhospitable, limestone cliffs, where it relies on rainwater for its moisture

Please see below an extract from UK Natural History Museum’s website at:

Khaosokia caricoides is a genus and species of the sedge family (Cyperaceae) that was first discovered in 2001 in Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand. It was initially overlooked as being a common species in the genus Carex until further collections were made in 2002.

It was a surprise to find a completely new genus in Asia, because the generic diversity of sedges in that part of the world is quite low. It occurs on limestone cliffs that are only accessible by boat - the area was flooded in the 1980s to form a reservoir.

Ironically, although the flooding resulted in the loss of many hectares of forest, it led to the discovery of Khaosokia cariocoides - flooding allowed access to previously inaccessible cliffs, and brought the plant within reach of collectors.

The species was formally described by David Simpson, Kongkanda Chayamarit and John Parnell in 2005.

<img src="../../../assets/img/Khaosokia caricoides 2 <img src="../../../assets/img/Khaosokia caricoides 3<img src="../../../assets/img/Khaosokia caricoides 4

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Last updated 24 February 2011 by