Top 10 New Species 2013

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Lilliputian Violet

Credit: Hugh H. Iltis (for puna habitat) and Harvey Ballard (for plant)

Viola lilliputana
Country: Peru

Not only is the Lilliputian violet among the smallest violets in the world, it is also one of the most diminutive terrestrial dicots. Known only from a single locality in an Intermontane Plateau of the high Andes of Peru, Viola lilliputana lives in the dry puna grassland eco-region.

Specimens were first collected in the 1960s, but the species was not described as a new until 2012. The entire above ground portion of the plant is barely 1 centimeter tall. The plant is named, obviously, for the race of little people on the island of Lilliput in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.   Less «
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