UK: New Species of Whitebeam tree discovered and named after no-parking sign nailed to it

The prosaically-named no parking whitebeam is one of 14 new species of tree just given names in a project led by the National Museum of Wales. Dr Tim Rich, the museum’s Head of Vascular Plants, led a group of botanists from Kew Gardens and Bristol, Bath and Exeter universities in the hunt for the new tree species. Six out of the 14 discovered were found in Wales but they had to travel further to log the “no parking” tree.

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As many trees and plants are named by the place or circumstances in
which they were found, the species won its unusual moniker because the
individual tree under study had a no parking sign nailed to it for
many years. The tree (full name Sorbus no parking) is in a glade in
Watersmeet, a hamlet between the villages of Lynton and Lynmouth in
Devon. And it has the official Latin botanic name of Admonitor, which
means to admonish or tell off.

There were suspicions for some time that the no parking whitebeam was different to similar local species, but chemical analysis has now confirmed this. Even its leaves have different lobes to local trees. The no parking whitebeam name has now been listed in Watsonia, the official journal of the Botanical Society of the British Isles.

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Comments (1)

RitaMarch 8th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Humorous post. I sent the URL to my daughter because, as a botanist, she’d get a kick out of botanists being mentioned.

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