A team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have reported the discovery of two new plant species from the evergreen forest patches in the southern end of the Western Ghats.
About New plant species
- The new species Musseanda conferta and Rungia longistachya were discovered during recent explorations by BSI scientists.
- Musseanda conferta
- It was discovered from the rocky areas of Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary and is related to the Musseanda hirsutisima family.
- It prefers the vicinity of rocks in the high-altitude grassland ecosystems.
- It has attractive flowers and the ornamental potential of this plant can be explored.
- Rungia longistachya
- It belongs to the family of Acanthaceae.
- It was discovered from the moist places of Anamalai regions near the Idukki dam site in Kerala.
- The plant is an herb and grows in the margins of evergreen forests.
- Only eleven species of Rungia have been reported from the Western Ghats and the newly discovered plant has got distinct narrow long spike with long slender peduncle and light pinkish white flowers,
Key facts about Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.
- It is situated near the southernmost tip of India at the confluence point of three major water bodies namely; Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean.
- Seven rivers have their origin in this forest including the famous Pahrali and Thamirabarani rivers.
- Vegetation: This region represents southern thorn forests, dry deciduous, moist deciduous, semi evergreen forests and ever green hill sholas with grassy downs.
- Fauna: It is home to Indian Bison, Elephant, Nilgiri Tahr, Sambar Deer, Lion-tailed Macaque and also reptiles such as Indian Rock Python.
Q1) Where is the Thamirabarani River?
The Thamirabarani River is a significant river in southern India, flowing through the state of Tamil Nadu. It originates from the Agastyarkoodam peak of the Western Ghats and traverses a distance of about 81 miles (130 kilometers) before emptying into the Gulf of Mannar, near the town of Punnaikayal.