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12 January – TWO NEW PLANT SPECIES

Researchers from SNM College Maliankara, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, and the Payyanur College have reported two new plant species from the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats regions in Thiruvananthapuram and Wayanad districts.

. They have been christened Fimbristylis sunilii and Neanotis prabhuii, and the findings by the research teams have been detailed in the November and December issues of the plant taxonomy journal Phytotaxa.
. Collected from the grasslands of Ponmudi hills, Thiruvananthapuram, Fimbristylis sunilii has been named after plant taxonomist C.N. Sunil, retired professor and research guide of Botany, SNM College.
Data deficient
. A perennial plant of the Cyperaceae family, it stands 20-59 cm tall and was collected from an elevation of 1,100 metres.
. Fimbristylis sunilii has been provisionally assessed as data deficient (DD) under the IUCN Red List categories.
. Neanotis prabhuii is a prostrate perennial herb named after K.M. Prabhukumar, Senior Scientist at CSIR-NBRI, Lucknow, in recognition of his research on flowering plants of the Western Ghats and contributions to biodiversity conservation. Discovered in the Chembra Peak grasslands of Wayanad, it hails from the family Rubiaceae and grows on high-altitude grasslands.
. Neanotis prabhuii grows up to 70 cm in length and is many-flowered with the petals pale pink in colour.
(GS PAPER-3/ ECOLOGY/ BIODIVERSITY)

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