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New plant species found in Western Ghats 

  • IASbaba
  • May 25, 2020
  • 0
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New plant species found in Western Ghats 

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Environment

In News:

  • Three new plant species have been recently discovered by a team of scientists of the Botanical Survey of India. 
  • These species were found in the evergreen forest patches of the southern end of the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Key takeaways:

These species are:

  • Eugenia sphaerocarpa
    • It belongs to the Myrtaceae or Rose apple family.
    • A good population of Eugenia sphaerocarpa is growing in the Kakkayam area of the Malabar wildlife sanctuary in Kerala above 800m.
    • ‘Sphaerocarpa’ denotes to the large, showy lemon-yellow spherical fruits. 
    • The fruits of Eugenia species are known for their palatability (pleasant to taste).
  • Goniothalamus sericeus
    • It belongs to the Annonaceae family of custard apple.
    • A small number of Goniothalamus sericeus plants has been found in the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu at an altitude of 1400m.
    • Mature flowers with characteristic greenish-yellow to beige petals are fragrant while the fruits are very showy and an attractive golden yellow in colour. 
    • Sericeus refers to the presence of dense silky hair on petals.
  • Memecylon nervosum
    • It belongs to the Melastomataceae (Kayamboo or Kaasavu in local parlance) family.
    • A small population of nervosum was also found at the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu at an altitude between 700-900m.
    • The species has showy purplish-blue flowers and mauve to purplish red fruits. 
    • Nervosum refers to the presence of prominently raised lateral and intramarginal veins on the lower surface of the lamina. 

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