Critically endangered flowering plant named after Blackpink’s Lisa
Thai researchers have named a newly discovered species of flowering plant after the Thai-born K-pop superstar Lisa of Blackpink.
The flowering plant was discovered in the southernmost province of Narathiwat. Researchers say it is critically endangered.
It was named “Bunga Lalisa” in honour of Lisa, whose Thai name is Lalisa Manobal. The poetic Thai word “bunga”, which means flower, is borrowed from Malay and Indonesian.
Bunga Lalisa is a climbing plant with fragrant flowers in the Annonaceae family. Its scientific name is Friesodielsia lalisae Damth., Baka & Chaowasku.
Lalisa was a great inspiration researcher Anissara Damthongdee, according to the team’s report on their discovery.
Besides Anissara, a student seeking her doctorate degree in biodiversity and ethnobiology at the Chiang Mai University, the research team includes Tanawat Chaowasku, an assistant professor at the university, and Abdulromea Baka, who is affiliated with the group Plant Diversity.
“The new species is named in honour of Lalisa Manobal, a famous Thai rapper, singer and dancer, whose motivation has greatly inspired the first author to overcome any obstacles during her PhD study,” the research report says.
Bunga Lalisa was discovered in secondary forests adjacent to rubber plantations. Its habitat is highly threatened by agricultural activities, according to the report.
Only a pair of Bunga Lalisa was found in Narathiwat but one was later cut.
Because only one pair of the plant was found, the research team said the plant should be designated “critically endangered” under the International Union for Conservation of Nature standards.
“Conservation effort should be immediately initiated,” it said.
Tanawat said further studies should be conducted on this newly discovered plant to find if it has potential for developing new medicines.