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Scientists discovered an endangered species of plant named Oldenlandia dineshi from Western Ghats

Apr 7, 2015 12:12 IST

Scientists from four research institutions in Kerala discovered a rare species of plant named Oldenlandia dineshi from Palakkad region of Western Ghats. The discovery of the shrub was published in the Kew Bulletin on 19 March 2015.

The scientists came across the plant in a quarry during an exploration of the Nenmara region south of Palakkad in the valley of the Nelliyampathy hills.

Based on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria, the researchers have classified Oldenlandia dineshii as an endangered species.

The plant species named Oldenlandia dineshi is a shrub with long linear tapering leaves and dark blue flower. The flowering period is from July to September and fruiting from September to October.

The species has been named in honour of TK Dinesh Kumar, former Professor of Botany, University College, Thiruvananthapuram.

The genus Oldenlandia comprises about 248 species of which 27 have been reported from India is mainly distributed in the southern parts of the Western Ghats and North and North-East India. Among these, 12 species and one variety have been recorded from various locations in Kerala.

Several species of the Oldenlandia family are widely used in Ayurveda for preparation of formulations such as Chyawanaprasam.

The scientists highlighting the floral diversity in the region and triggered the demand for strict curbs on quarrying in biodiversity pockets.

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