On May 23, 2020, A team of scientists led by K.A. Sujana at the Kolkata based Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered 3 new plant species namely- Eugenia sphaerocarpa, Goniothalamus sericeus and Memecylon nervosum at the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu (TN).
i.About Eugenia sphaenrocarpa:
- Found primarily in the Kakkayam area of the Malabar wildlife sanctuary in Kerala at an altitude of 800 m, it belongs to the Myrtaceae or Rose apple family.
- The term ‘sphaerocarpa’ refers to the large, catchy lemon-yellow spherical fruit, which are best known for their taste.
- The discovery of this species has published in the recent edition of Phytotaxa, an international journal of Plant taxonomy from Auckland, New Zealand.
ii.About Goniothalamus sericeus:
- Discovered in the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu (TN) at an altitude of 1400m, this species belongs to the Annonaceae family of custard apple.
- The term sericeus refers to the presence of dense silky hair on petals, which has a characteristics of greenish-yellow to beige color while its golden yellow colour fruits are very showy and attractive.
- The discovery of this species has published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Biodiversity from Taipei in Taiwan.
iii.About Memecylon nervosum:
- Found at an altitude between 700-900m at the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu (TN), this species belongs to the Melastomataceae (Kayamboo or Kaasavu in local parlance) family.
- It is better known for its purplish-blue flowers and mauve to purplish red fruits. The term Nervosum means the presence of lateral and intramarginal veins on the lower area of the lamina.
- The discovery of this species has published in the Edinburgh Journal of Botany from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK (United Kingdom).
About Botanical Survey of India (BSI):
Founder -Dr. George King ( Botanical Survey of India in 1890.)
Director-Dr A. A. Mao
Location– Kolkata, West Bengal
Parent organization– Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change