An international team of researchers published a paper describing what they consider to be a new species of coffee tree. According to their report, one of the distinguishing characteristics what they have named “Sommera cusucoana” is the color of plant parts (petioles, stipules, and infructescences) that attach leaves and flowers to tree branches. The report claims these differ from those of other previously identified species in Central America.
Two individuals of this tree, which were observed to be about 33 feet tall, have cream-colored flowers and red cherries.
Daniel Kelly and Anke Dietzsch from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland discovered it while participating in a broader ecological survey of montane rain forest vegetation in Cusuco National Park in Honduras. Kelly and Dietzsch sought help from plant specialists in the United States, Charlotte Taylor from Missouri Botanical Garden and David Lorence from the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii.
The researchers proposed the species be considered “critically endangered” in part because of the extensive logging in areas near the Honduran national park.