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Living fossil and endangered tree fern Alsophila spinulosa was newly discovered from Guangzhou

Recently, during a plant survey near Maofeng Mountain in Guangzhou by researchers from South China Botanical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences and specialized staff of Longyandong Forest Farm of Guangdong Province, Alsophila spinulosa, a national second-class protective plant, was found in a lush and inaccessible Valley in Maofeng work area. This is the first time that Alsophila spinulosa group has been found in Longyandong Forest Farm.

Alsophila spinulosa is a precious tree fern left over from the Cretaceous period about 300 million years ago, which was earlier than the appearance of dinosaurs. It survived alone after the extinction of dinosaurs. The genus Alsophila is the only remaining woody fern found today. Therefore, Alsophila spinulosa is also known as "living fossil", which has high scientific research value and ornamental value.

Longyandong Forest Farm of Guangdong Province is located in Tianhe District of Guangzhou. Its forest land is distributed in Tianhe District, Baiyun District and Luogang District of Guangzhou. There are many famous peaks and reservoirs, such as Maofeng Mountain and Shaojiwo Reservoir. A total of 7 Alsophila spinulosa were found in Longyandong Forest Farm. The highest one is more than 4 meters high, with stem up to 2.5 meters high. It is beautiful in shape, with tree crown like a giant umbrella. Due to the ancient and relict of the family Cyatheaceae, it is of great value to study speciation and floristic geography. This is also the first time that Alsophila spinulosa was found in old seven District of Guangzhou.

Figure. Alsophila spinulosa


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