Two new species of Pipeworts discover from the Western Ghats

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In the Western Ghats, two new species of a plant group known for their various medicinal properties discovered by the Scientist from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune. The Western Ghats have one of the thirty-five hot-spots of biological diversity in the world and around 111 species in India.

The plant group is known as pipeworts (Eriocaulon), which completes their life cycle within a short period during monsoon.

One species, Eriocaulon cinereum, is famous for its anti-cancerous, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. E. quinquangulare uses against liver diseases. E. madayiparense is an anti-bacterial from Kerala.

“Identification of the species belonging to Eriocaulon is challenging as they all look similar, which is why the genus is often referred to as ‘Taxonomist’s nightmare’. Its tiny flowers and seeds make it difficult to distinguish between different species,” Dr. Choudhary pointed out. Their study published in the journals ‘Phytotaxa‘ and ‘Annales Botanici Fennici’.

Fig:   Eriocaulon parvicephalum
Fig:  Eriocaulon karaavalense

The one reported from Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra named as Eriocaulon parvicephalum (due to its minute inflorescence size), and the other reported from Kumta, Karnataka named as Eriocaulon karaavalense (named after Karaavali = Coastal Karnataka region).

Source: PIB

UPSC and MPSC topic : Environment

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