HYDERABAD: Ever imagined rare insectivorous and endangered plant species growing in the middle of an urban jungle like Hyderabad? It does, thanks to the green paradise known as the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy (KBR) National Park. According to a year-long survey, there are 384 flowering plant species in KBR Park.
“For a layman, 384 species must sound like a very large number, but when we started the survey we were actually expecting to find more as there are close to 4,000 species of flowering plants in Telangana,” says Dr K Chandramohan, a senior project fellow with the Botanical Survey of India. He was one of the two botanists who, along with the Telangana forest department, did the survey and published a book titled The flowering plants of KBR National Park.
Interestingly, the 384 flowering plant species includes five insectivorous species, Drosera burmanni Vahl (sundew), Drosera indica(fly catcher), Utricularia caerulea, Utricularia scandens and Utricularia stellaris. They also found some endangered plant species in the park like Decalepis hamiltonii (Maredu Kommulu) and Acacia campbellii.
“Usually insectivorous plants grow in areas with low soil nutrition. They fulfil their nutritional requirements by trapping and consuming insects. Although these species are not listed as endangered, with biodiversity getting affected in general, it is becoming difficult to encounter such plant species,” adds Dr Chandramohan.
This is important as Hyderabad’s ecosystem is being encroached rapidly by alien plant species. One study ranks it at 26 rank among top 100 cities with the problem of invasive species.