Coneflower photographed in wild after 73 years in Manipur
Imphal, April 22 (EMN): A flower species of genus Strobilanthes, which is commonly known as Coneflower, has been spotted and photographed in the wild after 73 years in Manipur.
The flower species was photographed by a team of well known website www.flowersofindia.net at Leimaram waterfall also widely known as Sadu Chiru waterfall in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district in the second week of April 2021.
Initially, the flower could not be identified. So Tabish, the creator of the website www.flowersofindia.net, sent the pictures of the flower to a world expert on Strobilanthes, John RI Wood at the University of Oxford.
Later, John Wood identified the flower as Strobilanthes recurva CB Clarke, a rare species found in Northeast India and Bangladesh, notably in Manipur and Nagaland, says Tabish when contacted on the phone.
“This plant was last collected in 1948 from Manipur by F Kingdon-Ward, who was also the discoverer of the famed Shirui Lily,” he said adding “So, it seems that this plant has been found and identified after a gap of more than 70 years.”
“No picture of this plant existed till now, except for four dried herbarium specimens and a line drawing,” he added.
Now the flower, with new images is now listed at their website http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Manipur%20Coneflower.html.
According to the website, Manipur Coneflower is a rare, softly velvet-hairy under shrub about 1.5 feet tall. Leaves are ovate, pointed, rounded toothed, the lower ones longer stalked. Flowers are purple, tubular-trumpet-shaped with 1.25 inch long and nearly straight. They are borne in loose cylindrical spikes with 5 cm long, 1.2 cm wide, while the tips of the bracts visibly re-curved. The flowers bloom in April-May.
In the first week of March this year, a trekking team photographed a rare small flowering shrub identified as East-Himalayan Eranthemum (Eranthemum strictum) for the first time at Barak waterfall, a well known tourist destination in Manipur’s Tamenglong district bordering Assam and Nagaland. The shrub is also known as Neel Vasooka in Bengali.