The genus Coelogyne in orchid family consists of aprroximately 200 species. Historically, the study of Coelogyne in Myanmar dates back to Hooker (1890). More than 10 new species and 40 new records of Orchidaceae species have been added to the flora of Myanmar from 2001 to the present.
During recent China–Myanmar joint field expeditions by researchers of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) to survey plant diversity in north Myanmar in May 2016 and 2017, specimens of Coelogyne were found in Putao, Kachin State. On the basis of a detailed examination of the morphological and anatomical characters of this material and of presumed closely similar species, the researchers confirmed that the species is new to science. They named it as Coelogyne magnifica.
Coelogyne magnifica is similar to both C. corymbosa and C. taronensis in terms of vegetative morphology and shape of the flowers, but differs mainly with respect to the characters of patches and keels on the lip.
Morphologically, Coelogyne magnifica is most similar to C. corymbosa, with both having white flowers, ovoid pseudobulbs sometimes and obovate-oblong leaf blades.
Coelogyne magnifica differs from C. corymbosa in having slightly smaller pseudobulbs, shorter leaf blades, a greater number of larger flowers, two bright yellow patches surrounded by shiny brownish red (vs. four yellow eye-like blotches) and two fimbriate or erose-lacerate lateral keels on the lip (vs. two–three keels, with margins wavy or crenulate).
Coelogyne magnifica differs from C. taronensis with regard to its white flowers (vs. creamy yellow in C. taronensis), smaller leaf blades, patches (two bright yellow patches vs. four dark red patches) and keels (two keels vs. three keels) on the lip.
Coelogyne magnifica is currently known only from the type locality of Putao, Kachin State, northern Myanmar. It is a predominantly epiphytic species that grows on moss-covered branches and tree trunks and sometimes also on rocks, in humid montane forests, at an elevation 2400–2500 m above sea level.
Based on current information and according to IUCN Red List category (IUCN 2012), Coelogyne magnifica is assigned a preliminary status of Least Concern (LC).
The new species “Coelogyne magnifica(Orchidaceae), a new species from northern Myanmar” has been published in PhytoKeys.