Two new plant species discovered in Western Ghats
Two new plant species were discovered in Edmalayalar, Pooyamkutty-Adamalayar and Neriamangalam forest regions of Western Ghats in Ernakulam district of Kerala.
The discovered species have been christened as Vellithumpa and Eriocaulon manoharanii.
They were discovered by a team of researchers led by Professor C.N. Sunil during investigations conducted as part of a UGC-sponsored project on the flowering plants.
Vellithumpa (Anisochilus shoolamudianus)
- It is a very rare species of shrub plant belonging to the mint family. It was discovered growing on steep wet rocks on Shoolamudy peak in deep inside the Edmalayalar forest range.
- The species was named after the place of collection and was given vernacular name Vellithumpa (mean’s silver flower) as it has white silvery hairs under the leaves and bears small white flowers with red anthers in cylindrical closely packed clusters.
- It is herbaceous plant belonging to the pipeworts family. It was found discovered in the wet rocky mountain grasslands of Mamalakandam-Munippara area in the Neriamangalam forest range.
- The species was named after T.M. Manoharan, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in recognition of his contributions to wildlife protection and biodiversity conservation.
- The plant bears small white flowers which grows in clusters and has patchy distribution which gives scenic beauty to the valleys and grasslands.