Selby Press Release -new species of Drymonia described



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CONTACT:  Debby Steele, (941) 366-5731 Extension 225



New Species of Flowering Plant from Costa Rica

Described by Selby Scientists


(December 22, 2008, Sarasota, FL): Dr. John R. Clark, Director of the Gesneriad Research Center at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and his collaborator, Dr. John L. Clark, Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, are publishing a new plant species for science from Costa Rica in the genus Drymonia (a gesneriad, related to African violets). The new species Drymonia decora, is a long, pendulous herb with striking dark green leaves and yellowish-white, tubular flowers.  It was discovered on a 2003 Selby Gardens' research expedition to Costa Rica.

The name, Drymonia decora, pays honor to Ann Maxine Patton, manager of the Boracayán Wildlife Refuge where the species was discovered, and her grandmother, Ann Esworthy. The English name 'Ann' is derived from the Hebrew "channah" meaning "grace."  The junior Ann and her husband, John Bender, graciously hosted the field team during their work in this scientifically and ecologically important new reserve. Ann Esworthy and her husband, Walter, are long-time supporters of Selby Gardens, having served in various capacities since the Gardens' inception in the early 1970's. Their connection formed the original impetus for the floristic inventory project resulting in this discovery.

New species descriptions are only a small part of the globally important research and conservation efforts of Selby scientists. For more information, please contact Dr. John R. Clark at (941) 366-5731, ext. 256 or


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a respected center for research and education as well as a famous orchid showplace.  The Gardens is located at 900 South Palm Avenue in Sarasota. It is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Christmas day.  For further information call 941.366.5731or visit