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Scientists find wildflower Gasteranthus extinctus is still alive despite its name

The bright orange flowers of the Ecuadorian cloud forest herb Gasteranthus extinctus, long believed to have gone extinct, light up the forest understory as if begging to be seen. (Riley Fortier)
The bright orange flowers of the Ecuadorian cloud forest herb Gasteranthus extinctus, long believed to have gone extinct, light up the forest understory as if begging to be seen. (Riley Fortier)

Nearly four decades after its last sighting, a bright orange South American wildflower showed its colors once again.

As its name implies, the Gasteranthus extinctus was thought to have been wiped out due to extensive deforestation in Ecuador.

But scientists on a research trip to the country last year found the plant, very much alive.

Here & Now speaks with one of the lead researchers, Dawson White, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Field Museum in Chicago.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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