Nine new plant species discovered in Nagaland since 2006
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Sep. 26: Scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Shillong have discovered nine new species of plants across Nagaland since 2006. This was informed by Dr. Nripemo Odyuo, a scientist at the BSI, Shillong.
Odyuo told Eastern Mirror that in 2006, after three years of observing some orchids brought from Penkim village of Kiphire district, one was found flowering on the branch of a tree at the National Orchidarium in BSI, Shillong. He informed that the flowers of the plant looked very distinct and could not be identified using available literature. Penkimia Nagalandensis, as the plant is now called, has been described as a new miniature orchid.
Another plant species found in Fakim village area under the Kiphire Forest division is Molineria Fakimense, which was discovered during a field exploration in 2016 as part of an approved research programme ‘Flora of Nagaland’ by BSI, Eastern Regional Centre, Shillong. Odyuo informed that the team collected this gigantic Molineria species growing in moist places on the banks of streams in evergreen forest floors.
The orchid species named Dendrobium Tuensangense discovered in Tuensang district is part of 1450 other known species and is widely found throughout Sri Lanka and tropical Asia, Pacific Region, north of Japan among others. In India, it is part of 116 species. The scientist informed that the species are very attractive and showy with variable sizes, shapes, structure, colour and fragrance.
Another terrestrial orchid named Rhomboda Monensis was also discovered in Tobu village in Mon district, which grows on forest floors in humus rich soils. The species is named after Mon district.
A new species of parasitic flowering plant named Gleadovia Konyakianorum was also discovered in a semi-evergreen forest in Pessao village of Mon district. It has been named in honour of the Konyak tribe of the state, Dr. Dilip Kumar Roy, BSI, co-author and scientist added.
“It is a root parasite that draws its entire nutritional requirement from the host plant through a specialised structure called haustorium,” added Roy.
Tupistra Nagarum, an Asparagaceous plant species was found growing along the banks of Athogoki stream of Hekishe village in Dimapur district while Hedychium Chingmeianum, a ginger species, was found in Bakhong Forest Reserve of Chingmei village in Tuensang district during fieldwork in the month of November 2015.
The Zingiber Perenense, another ginger species, was discovered in Tesen village of Peren district. The plant was found growing in moist shady places on the bank of a small stream in the hilly terrain. Another ginger species, Zingiber Dimapurense was also discovered from Hekeshe Village forest under Medziphema of Dimapur district, Odyuo informed.
The scientists said that they were indebted to Dr. Ashiho Asosii Mao, Director, BSI, Kolkata under whose guidance the explorations were conducted. They further thanked the Nagaland Forest department, village council members and the residents of the villages where explorations were conducted, for the help rendered during the plant collection tours.
They also requested residents of the unexplored districts of Nagaland to continue to assist them during their plant collection tours in future.