New plant species found in Western Ghat

New Plant Species in Western Ghats

A team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India have reported the discovery of three new plant species found in Western Ghats from the evergreen forest patches.

New Plant Species in Western Ghats

24th May 2020 Current Affairs

Source | The Hindu


GS Paper III: Environment; new Discoveries and finding in biodiversity



New plant species found in Western Ghat

Key Takeaways

The three new species found in Western Ghats includes:

  • Eugenia sphaerocarpa of the Myrtaceae or Rose apple family;
  • Goniothalamus sericeus of the Annonaceae family of custard apple
  • Memecylon nervosum of the Melastomataceae (Kayamboo or Kaasavu in local parlance) family.

Read More: New species of fishes in Western Ghats


Context: A team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India have reported the discovery of three new plant species found in Western Ghats from the evergreen forest patches.

  • The area of the forest patches marks the end of the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Key details about the new plant species in Western Ghats

The three new species found by the scientist from the Botanical Survey of India are namely,

  1. Eugenia sphaenrocarpa
  2. Goniothalamus sericeus
  3. Memecylon nervosum

About Eugenia sphaenrocarpa

  • 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.
  • The epithet ‘sphaerocarpa’ denotes to the large, showy lemon-yellow spherical fruits. The fruits of Eugenia species are known for their palatability.

About 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.

About 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.)


Read More: World’s Largest Cave Fish found in Meghalaya


What you need to know about Botanical Survey of India?

  • Botanical Survey of India (BSI) was founded on 13 February 1890.
  • It is an organization of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.
  • It is responsible for survey, research and conservation of plant resources, flora and endangered species of India, including by collecting and maintaining germplasm and gene bank of endangered, patent and vulnerable plant species.
  • Nelumbo is a biannual journal published by the Botanical Survey of India. The journal is peer-reviewed and authentic journal of plant taxonomy and plant sciences.


Also Read: New Varieties of Anthurium Developed


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