Two new plant species have been discovered in the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats areas of Thiruvananthapuram and Wayanad districts, according to researchers from SNM College Maliankara, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, and Payyanur College.
They have been christened Fimbristylis sunilii and Neanotis prabhuii, and the findings by the research teams have been detailed in the November and December issues of the plant taxonomy journal Phytotaxa.
Fimbristylis sunilii was discovered in the grasslands of Thiruvananthapuram’s Ponmudi Hills and named after plant taxonomist C.N. Sunil, retired professor and research leader of Botany at SNM College.
It’s a perennial Cyperaceae plant that grows 20–59 cm tall and was found at a height of 1,100 metres. According to the authors, M.G. Sanilkumar, E.C. Baiju, Nitya Madanan, and Divya P.V. of the Research Department of Botany at SNM College, Fimbristylis sunilii has been tentatively classified as data deficient (DD) under the IUCN Red List categories.
Neanotis prabhuii is a prostrate perennial herb named after K.M. Prabhukumar, Senior Scientist at CSIR-NBRI, Lucknow, for his work on Western Ghats blooming plants and contributions to biodiversity protection. It is a member of the Rubiaceae family that grows on high-altitude grasslands and was discovered in Wayanad’s Chembra Peak grasslands.
According to authors C.N. Sunil, M.G. Sanilkumar, and Nitya Madanan of the Research Department of Botany, SNM College; Anilkumar and Salim Pichan of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation; and Ratheesh Narayanan of the Department of Botany, Payyanur College, Neanotis prabhuii grows up to 70 cm in length and has many flowers with pale pink petals.
The authors classified Neanotis prabhuii as data deficient (DD) due to a lack of extensive observations and data on populations.
Source: The Hindu