Auction offers chance to name new plant species found near Leavenworth

One winner will have a chance to name this new plant found near Leavenworth if they bid the highest during an auction in November. (Courtesy: Wild Society)

It is rather uncommon to find a new plant in the Pacific Northwest, but now a new species discovered near Leavenworth needs a name and you have a chance to give it one.

Botanist Mark Darrach says the plant was actually found accidentally in 2015 by a forest service botanist, and somewhat put on the back burner until he later found out about it. Darrach said he did some research and believes it’s a new species of plant.

“It’s a pretty spectacular plant, it’s quite large and has these brassy yellow flowers and it grows on very steep slopes near Leavenworth and in that general area,” says Darrach.

He adds the large plant is in the same family as cilantro, carrot, fennel, and dill.

Darrach has now teamed up with a nonprofit called Wild Society and they are holding a naming auction next month. All the money raised will be given to the group out of North Kitsap.

“They really care about the environment and care about biodiversity and care about education for the younger folks, getting them outdoors and backpacking and other things they might not do in this day and age when folks are pretty much tied to their phone screens,” says Darrach.

He says naming auctions are not uncommon and across the world have netted anything from $5,000 to $50,000. The auction will open on Ebay on November 21 and close December 1st.

The winner will also have a chance to visit their plant in the Research Collections at the Burke Museum Herbarium in Seattle, and take a hike out to the remote location near Leavenworth and see the plant in person.

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