TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture–Thought to be extinct for almost eight decades, a rare orchid in the Ogasawara island chain south of Tokyo is blooming again at a botanical garden here to the amazement of botanists.
Researchers with the National Museum of Nature and Science said the flower was produced by the “shimakumokiriso” (Liparis hostifolia) orchid species, which has been raised at the museum’s Tsukuba Botanical Garden.
It grew out of one of several stumps discovered on Minami-Iwojima island in the Ogasawara chain earlier this year.
“I never expected to be able to view the actual flower in my lifetime,” said Tomohisa Yukawa, a botanist with the museum.
The existence of the shimakumokiriso was first confirmed on Chichijima island, about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, in 1916, according to Yukawa.
It was later identified as a rare species of the orchid indigenous to the subtropical island chain, a World Natural Heritage site.
The last time the species on …