New rhododendron species discovered in Arunachal
Itanagar: Adding to the rare bouquet of rich biodiversity in the Himalayan state, researchers have discovered a new beautiful species of pink rhododendron flower in Arunachal Pradesh which was hitherto unknown to science.
A team of botanical experts recently carried out explorations in West Siang district`s remote Mechukha valley, few km away from the China border, and found the rare and endemic flower which has been named `Rhododendron Mechukae` after its place of origin.
The findings by the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST) have been confirmed by the Botanical Survey of India and recorded in the latest issue of Edinburgh Journal of Botany as a species new to science.
"The tree of 5-10 meters in height grows in semi-dense temperate forest along with other known species of rhododendron and shrubs at an altitude of above 2400 metres. It is common there but habitat is limited to hillsides in Mechukha area," scientist Sanjeeb Bharali who led the research told PTI.
The attractive pink flower blooms in early February and can be noticed by tourists till this time of the year in March.
The word Rhododendron means red tree in Greek, referring to the red flowers commonly associated with the species.
Often regarded as the best flowering evergreen plants for the temperate landscape, rhododendrons are also known as the `King of Shrubs`.
Widespread across the temperate regions of the world, rhododendron reaches its greatest diversity in Asia, with India alone hosting more than 100 species.
Mechuka, where the discovery was made, falls under the Himalayan range and is characterised by rough topography with mountains, deeply incised valleys, escarpments and plateaus.
Describing it as a critically-endangered species, the research paper published in the journal says the total area of occupancy of this species is only around 5-10 sq km and the area is subject to timber extraction, greatly threatening its population.
Bharali says deforestation for fuel wood and massive destruction of the habitats due to pressures of development is threatening the survival of this species, which is not found anywhere else in the world.
Ecologists say the stiff, waxy leaves of these evergreen species provide shelter to a great variety of insect fauna, which incidentally help in pollination.
Botanical Survey of India`s scientist A A Mao points out that since many biodiversity-rich areas in the mountain state are located in very remote areas, many new species lay hidden.
In the last 4-5 years his team has already discovered around 10 species of different plants.
Surrounded by sublime Himalayan peaks and scenic splendour, Arunachal hosts a glorious variety of plants and animals.
A WWF report recorded the discovery of 353 new species of animals and plants in the Eastern Himalayas region between 1998 and 2008.
Arunachal Pradesh possesses India`s second highest level of genetic resources. Although occupying only 2.5 per cent of India`s geographical area, the state occupies a significant place in terms of floral and faunal biodiversity, being considered one of the world`s 18 biodiversity hotspots.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Police registers case after parachute-like objects were spotted over Mumbai airport
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- Unidentified flying objects spotted over Mumbai airport not motorised: Home Department
- Militants kill five, target telecoms in Kashmir attacks
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened