A team of researchers led by CN Sunil reported discovery of two new plant species christened as Vellithumpa (silver flower) and Eriocaulon manoharanii. These plants were discovered from the Pooyamkutty-Adamalayar and Neriamangalam forest regions of Western Ghats in Kerala.
These plants were discovered during investigations conducted as part of a UGC-sponsored project on the flowering plants of Ernakulam district of Kerala. The findings of the discovery were published in the June 2015 issue of the international journal Webbia: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Phytogeography.
• It was found growing on steep wet rocks on Shoolamudy, the highest peak in Ernakulam district, deep inside the Edmalayalar forest range.
• It is a shrub plant belonging to the mint family
• The species was named after the place of collection and was given vernacular name Vellithumpa because of the white silvery hairs under the leaf.
• The plant bears small white flowers with red anthers in cylindrical closely packed clusters.
About Eriocaulon manoharanii
• It was found growing in the wet rocky mountain grasslands of Mamalakandam-Munippara area in the Neriamangalam forest range.
• It is an herbaceous plant belonging to the pipeworts family and carries small white flowers growing in clusters.
• It was named after former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests TM Manoharan as recognition of his contributions to biodiversity conservation and wildlife protection.
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