New Plant GENUS Named For Naturalist Sir David Attenborough

Flower of Sirdavidia solannona. Image credit: Thomas Couvreur.

Sir David Attenborough’s newest honor: Sirvidius solannona. (Image Credit: Dr. Thomas Couvreur)

By Kristen E. Strubberg Editor-in-Chief

Discovered in Gabon, Africa, the new genus, Sirdavidia, was created to encompass and new species of flowering plant, Sirdavidius solannona, belonging to the custard apple family.  The international team found the specimen which bears fuchsia flowers, in Monts de Cristal National Park.  They chose to honor Sir David Attenborough for his considerable contribution to science and his personal influence on the many researcher involved in its identification, especially lead researcher Dr. Thomas Couvreur.

Wildscreen’s photograph of David Attenborough at ARKive’s launch in Bristol, England © May 2003 (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

According to Sci-News, Sir Attenborough was “thrilled” and responded:

“I know very well that such a decision is the greatest compliment that a biologist can pay to another and I am truly grateful.” (Sci-News)

Sir David Attenborough may be most recognized from his BBC nature features including Planet Earth, The Life of Mammals, and Blue Planet – all of which he wrote and narrated/hosted.

UPDATE: Sir David also has a species of hawkweed(a cousin of the dandelion) named after him, Hieracium attenboroughianum, which is found in the Brecon Beacons mountain range of Wales.  Named by taxonomist Tim Rich (likewise inspired by Sir Attenborough’s work), it is the only endemic plant to Sir Attenborough’s home of the United Kingdom to bear his name.

Attenborough's Hawkweed

“Attenborough’s Hawkweed” located in Wales. (Image Credit: Tim Rich/BBC)

Read more about the Sirdavidius Solannona at Sci-News and read more about “Attenborough’s Hawkweed” at the BBC and The Guardian which also catalogue numerous other flora and fauna bearing Sir David Attenborough’s name.

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Leave a Comment


  1. tamara

    February 16, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    Reblogged this on My Botanical Garden.

  2. Cynthia Reyes

    February 16, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    Cheers to Sir David and all his great accomplishments.

    It also occurs to me, however: wouldn’t it be great if when people go to other countries and “discover” a plant, they found a way to honour one of their own but also the people of the region? that way, respect would be accorded to both the foreignor and the local region and its people.

    • hungrybookworm2013

      February 17, 2015 at 2:37 AM

      I agree and fortunately they do! Read our most recent post: New Owl Species Identified In The Deserts Of The Middle East

  3. nmartinez1938

    February 16, 2015 at 10:54 PM

    I always love flowers that have velvet like surfaces as these seem to have…

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