Researchers from the School of Environmental Science of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, Kerala have discovered a new plant species belonging to the ‘Commelinaceae’ flora family of the ‘Murdannia’ genus. As an ode to their teacher, the researchers have named the new plant with golden flower ‘Murdannia Satheeshiana’.

A research team from the school headed by K. Sankaran Unni and including Roji Mon P. Thomas and Nisha P. went to the Mathikettan Shola National Park in the Western Ghats. Here on their expedition they discovered a plant species hitherto unobserved.

The plant had little golden flowers and had similar traits as other plants of the ‘Commelinaceae’  family which have yellow, golden and blue blossoms.

In India there are 26 species of the plant already identified with 19 of them found in the Western Ghats. The family shows wide variations though in the height, flower colour, seed pattern etc. The highest recorded height of the herb is 10 cm.

The researchers named the plant after former Reader of the School of Environmental Science R. Satheesh who died recently.

Ribert B Faden, a US based research botanist, has already reviewed the report submitted by the researchers and forwarded it to Mark Chase, a botanist in Britain for final authorisation.

The findings have been published in ‘Phytotaxa’ (Vol 22:41–46 (2011), a global journal.

-Atula Gupta

Article source: Bernama

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About Atula Gupta

Atula Gupta is the Founder and Editor of indiasendangered.com. Her work has appeared in a number of international websites, dailies and magazines including The Wire, Deccan Herald, New Indian Express, Down to Earth and Heritage India on issues related to environment and its conservation. She is also the author of Environment Science Essentials, a set of books for school children. She hopes this website provides a platform for people to be aware about species in the verge of extinction and heighten their conservation efforts.

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