Why in news?
- According to the recent orders, those who uproot or destroy the plant will invite a fine of ₹25,000 and three years imprisonment. The cultivation of this and its possession is not allowed,
- Neelakurinji has been included on the list when the Centre expanded the earlier protected list of six plant species to 19.
- Neelakuruj is scientifically known as Strobilanthus Kunsthaus,
- It is a shrub that grows in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India.
- The plant is named after the famous Kunthi River which flows through Kerala’s Silent Valley National Park, where the plant occurs abundantly.
- It is found at an altitude of 1,300-2,400 metres.
- This flower blooms once in 12 years as the pollination of flowers needs a longer period.
- It is mainly found in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
- This act was enacted for the protection of plants and animal species.
- Also, this act established schedules of protected plant and animal species; hunting or harvesting of these species was largely outlawed.
Q1) Is Neelakurinji flower endemic to Western ghats?
All Neelakurunji flowers are endemic to Shola forests of western ghats.
Source: Centre puts Neelakurinji on the list of protected plants.