Botanists from the Bhopal-based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) recently discovered a new species of plant from the African Violets family in Mizoram and areas adjacent to Myanmar.
Among the 106 species of known African Violets plants, 26 are found in the northeast.
African Violets belong to the Didymocarpus genus and Gesneriaceae plant family and its members are distributed from Western Himalayas to Sumatra.
“Most of these species are narrow endemics and require specialised habitats to survive, thus acting as an indicator of pristine habitats,” reported The Free Press Journal.
IISER’s Associate Professor (Department of Biological Sciences) Vinita Gowda, who led the study on African Violets, said that the new discovery brings new insights into the unique evolutionary trajectory of flora in the northeast.
“Beyond the academic desire to document biodiversity, finding the amissing pieces’ of the biodiversity puzzle are important in designing conservation approaches to protect the fragile ecosystem of such hotspots,” further reported The Free Press Journal quoting Gowda.
It may be mentioned here that the newly described species Didymocarpus vickifunkiae (Gesneriaceae) is currently known from only three locations in Mizoram and considered an endangered species.