5-speed listening (Orchids - Level 4)

Botanists find world's ugliest orchid






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People think orchids epitomise beauty. These delicate and fragrant blooms are often in the centre of floral displays. However, botanists have just decided on the world's ugliest orchid. It was found last year in Madagascar. One saving grace for this orchid is its smell. The scientists say it has a beautiful rose-like fragrance. There are over 25,000 species of orchid, so it is likely that one or two might not be so beautiful.

A researcher described the "ugly" orchid as being, "not very attractive" and "fleshy looking". Scientists are excited because there could be more hiding in the forests not yet discovered. The bad news is that the new orchid is already on the endangered list. Another researcher warned of a "bleak reality". He said: "With two in five plants threatened with extinction, it is a race against time to find, identify, name, and conserve plants before they disappear."

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