Fimbristylis jaleeliana

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Recently, researchers have discovered a new species Cyperaceae and named it as Fimbristylis jaleeliana.

About Fimbristylis jaleeliana

  • It is a family of graminoid (grass-like) monocotyledonous flowering plants, from the lateritic hillocks of Kannur district.
  • It thrives in lateritic grasslands at an elevation of 60 metres above sea level. 
  • The genus Fimbristylis was one of the largest genera within the family Cyperaceae, represented by 320 species distributed in tropical and subtropical regions.
  • In India, the genus was represented by 124 species, of which 97 were found in the Western Ghats and west coast.
  • Threats: Its existence is under threat due to habitat destruction caused by mining activities, posing a risk to its already fragmented populations on the lateritic plateau.

What are Cyperaceae?

  • It belongs to sedge family of monocotyledonous flowering plants.
  • The Cyperaceae are grasslike herbaceous plants found especially in wet regions throughout the world.
  • The members are distributed throughout all the continents except Antarctica.
  • Although there is a large number of species in Arctic, temperate, and tropical regions, the diversity of genera is far greater in tropical regions. 

Q1) What is Laterite soil?

It is a soil layer that is rich in iron oxide and derived from a wide variety of rocks weathering under strongly oxidizing and leaching conditions. It forms in tropical and subtropical regions where the climate is humid.

Source: Fimbristylis jaleeliana, new species of Cyperaceae discovered in Kannur