Shortage of experts leaves new plant species undescribed

More than 30,000 undescribed new species of flowering plants may be locked away in cupboards and drawers around the world.

The backlog of specimens in museums, universities and botanic gardens is due to a global shortage of experts and resources, say scientists.

Dr Robert Scotland, from Oxford University's department of plant sciences, said: "Many people think that discovering new species is primarily about expeditions to exotic locations and collecting new specimens, but the truth is that thousands of new plant species are lying unidentified." The report appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.