A flower species depicted on the NT$1,000 banknote that is commonly believed to be a Yushan thistle is actually a newly discovered species of Cirsium, academics said on Saturday.
Chang Chih-yi (張之毅), a doctoral candidate at National Chung Hsing University’s forestry department, said that the flower is a Cirsium tatakaense — a species endemic to south-central Taiwan that he and his team discovered.
Chang and his supervisor, associate professor Tseng Yen-hsueh (曾彥學), published their findings after five years of research in the international academic journal PhytoKeys on Feb. 14.
Photo courtesy of National Chung Hsing University
The Cirsium tatakaense, which grows in the Tataka area (塔塔加) in Yushan National Park and is often photographed by visitors, can easily be mistaken for the similar-looking Yushan thistle, the two men said.
The flower has yet to be seen outside of the park at altitudes of 2,000m to 3,000m above sea level, they said.
The best place to see the flower is in open areas along the roads near the Tataka Visitor Center, they said, adding that it is in season from August to October.
Photo courtesy of National Chung Hsing University
The flower’s leaves are more slender than those of the Yushan thistle and it has more petals, they said.
The Cirsium tatakaense has a thornier and longer stem, which is easily distinguishable from that of the Yushan thistle, and its petals are white, droop when in bloom and have sharp toothpick-like thorns surrounding their base, they said.
The researchers also examined pollen samples from the two plants and found that the Cirsium tatakaense has much larger grains of pollen.
Although the number of Cirsium tatakaense is low, there is little danger of the plant becoming extinct, as the remoteness and high elevation of its habitat means it is protected from human activity, Chang and Tseng said.
However, climate change could affect the flower’s growth, so efforts should be made to conserve the plant, the academics said.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
GOOD INFLUENCE: Kwan said his mother tutored him at home for a few years, saying that she had to protect his ‘creativity’ as his writing had suffered Director and coproducer of the Oscar-winning absurdist comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once Daniel Kwan (關家永) on Sunday dedicated the movie to his Taiwanese mother, who he said supported his creativity growing up. “She is someone who sacrificed a lot for her kids,” Kwan, 35, said backstage at the Oscars. The movie, released early last year, received a commanding 11 nominations at the Academy Awards, and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, with whom he also directed the 2016 fantasy film Swiss Army
HYGIENE KEY: The CDC reported two cases of enterovirus 71, which can cause serious complications, and as there have been no recent outbreaks, children are not immune Two cases of enterovirus 71 (EV71) were reported last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that it was a warning sign, as the virus has not been detected for more than a year. Parents are advised to remind their children to practice good hand hygiene, it said. Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉), director of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Center, said that 165,230 people visited a hospital for diarrhea last week, which is a high number. Most of the diarrhea case clusters were caused by norovirus infection, but there were also enterovirus cases, and weekly caseloads are slowly increasing, Guo said. Most of
A bipartisan US congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan yesterday on a two-day visit that is to include meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other senior government officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The delegation comprises Republican US representatives and Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Ken Calvert, Tom Cole, Dave Joyce and Mike Garcia, as well as Democratic US Representative Ed Case, the ministry said in a news release. Upon their arrival at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), the five representatives were welcomed by North American Affairs Department Director-General Douglas Hsu (徐佑典), it said. During their visit, they are to meet