New plant species discovered in Edamalayar forest area

Emblica chakrabartyi, the new plant species discovered in the Edamalayar forest region of Kerala | Photo credits: by appointment

Scientists from SNM College Maliankara, Ernakulam, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, and King Fahd University, UAE, have reported the discovery of a new plant species Emblica chakrabartyi of Adichilthotti in the Edamalayar forest region of Kerala.

The species belonging to the gooseberry family (Phyllanthaceae) is named after Tapas Chakrabarty, former scientist at the Botanical Survey of India, for his contribution to the research on Phyllanthaceae. The finding was published in John Wiley & Sons’ International Journal, Nordic Journal of Botany, from Sweden.

The scientists found a population of around 55 plants in and around the Edamalayar and nearby Sholayar forest areas during an expedition as part of a UGC-sponsored major research project on the flowering plants of Ernakulam district.

Characteristics of plants

The plant reaches a height of about 2 meters. The leaves are large with a glossy elongated oval shape of up to 13 cm. Flowering and fruiting take place from December to June. Male flowers are found in the inflorescence, while female flowers are single on the leaf axils. Each flower bears yellowish green colored six petals. The fruits are brown to black when they ripen and the seeds are black and about 8-9 mm in diameter.

Generally they grow as shrubs in tropical rainforests. There are 55 species of the genus Emblica recorded around the world. The new factory is the eleventh in India.

Team members

The research team led by CN Sunil, Research Advisor, Department of Botany, SNM College Maliankara, Ernakulam includes Prabhukumar, Scientist, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow; Naveenkumar, Scientist, King Fahd University, UAE; MG Sanilkumar, Head of Botany Research Department, SNM College Maliankara; Simi MS, Assistant Professor of Botany Research Department, SNM College; and Indira Balachandran of the Center for Medicinal Plant Research, Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala.

Emblica chakrabartyi is the 16th new plant species discovered by Dr. in a period of 12 years. Sunil and his team in Ernakulam district has been discovered.

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