In news: The plant was discovered during ongoing studies on Amaranthaceae, the plant family to which the genus Allmania belongs.
- A rather frail-looking plant spotted on the granite hillocks of Palakkad has been identified as a new species of the genus Allmania.
- Named Allmania multiflora, it is found at heights ranging between 1,000 to 1,250 metres and is erect, with branches arising from the base.
- Its stem is red to violet at the base and green above.
- Shorter tepals and wider gynoecium (parts of the flower), shorter bracts and in the diameter of the seeds are among the characteristics that distinguishes it from Allmania nodiflora.
- Flowering and fruiting occur from May to September.
- Allmania multiflora has been so named for having a higher number of florets within an inflorescence.
- An annual herb that grows to a height of about 60 cm, Allmania multiflora is only the second species of this genus identified so far anywhere.
- The discovery has come 188 years after the genus and the first species were described by botanists.
- Field surveys, genetic analysis, and molecular and morphometric investigations demonstrated it as distinct from Allmania nodiflora, which so far had been accepted as the lone Allmania species
- The first species, Allmania nodiflora, was originally published in 1753. Specimens found in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) were first described as Allmania nodiflora in 1834.
- IUCN Status: Critically Endangered, due to its small population.
- The species faced threats due to small population, being accidentally exploited by local people as a vegetable along with amaranths as well as habitat destruction.
Source: The Hindu
Previous Year Question
Q.1) Recently, our scientists have discovered a new and distinct species of banana plant which attains a height of about 11 metres and has orange-coloured fruit pulp. In which part of India has it been discovered? (2016)
- Andaman Islands
- Anaimalai Forests
- Maikala Hills
- Tropical rain forests of northeast