MALAPPURAM: A team of scientists, led by CSIR emeritus scientist M Sabu and research associate V S Hareesh with the Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plant Sciences, Kozhikode, has discovered two new plants. They have also spotted one Chinese plant from northeastern India.“The first plant belongs to the coffee family (Rubiaceae) and it was collected from Shi Yomi district in Arunachal Pradesh. It was named Ophiorrhiza medogensis var. shiyomiense. We have collected a Chinese plant from the Dibang Valley district in Arunachal Pradesh. We are the first to spot the Chinese endemic plant Ophiorrhiza medogensis in India. The plant was added to the angiosperm flora of India,” said Sabu.
Though Ophiorrhiza medogensis var. shiyomiense and Ophiorrhiza show close resemblances to each other, they strongly differ in their floral nature. The findings related to the plants were published in Adnasonia, an international journal from Paris. The second new plant belongs to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and it was collected from the Aizawl district in Mizoram. “It was the wild relative of edible ginger and named as Zingiber Neotruncatum Var. Ramsawmii. The new plant has narrowly ovate bright red inflorescence with white /creamy yellow flowers,” Sabu added. T Jayakrishnan, assistant professor of Government College, Pattambi; H Lalramnghinglova and M Sawmliana from the Mizoram University are also the participants of this research team. The study related to the Zingiber neotruncatum var. ramsawmii was published in the Journal of Japanese Botany.