Arunachal Pradesh : New Plant Variety – ‘Ophiorrhiza medogensis var. shiyomiense’ Identified In Shi-Yomi District

Posted in Arunachal Pradesh, Featured, Northeast


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A team of researchers from Kerala led by CSIR emeritus scientist M Sabu and research associate in the Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plant Sciences, Kozhikode – V S Hareesh, has spotted a new plant variety – ‘Ophiorrhiza medogensis var. shiyomiense‘ from Shi Yomi district in Arunachal Pradesh.

Belonging to the coffee family (Rubiaceae), this plant variety is endemic to a region named – Siko Dido Waterfall towards Mechuka, Shi-Yomi District of Arunachal Pradesh. The plant was found growing in the moist sloppy areas at an altitude varying from 1100 to 1200 m.

Named after the region to which it is endemic, this new plant variety, Ophiorrhiza medogensis var. shiyomiense is a small plant growing to a height of 20-50 cm, which comprise of a branched stem with a woody base and pale yellow flowers with green tinges.

The findings of this new plant variety have been published in Adansonia, the international journal published by the French Museum of Natural History, Paris.

Its worthy to note that a close relative – Ophiorrhiza medogensis which was discovered in Dibang Valley district, is being recorded in India for the first time – informed Prof. Sabu.

Both these plants were collected from the interior regions of Arunachal Pradesh during a botanical survey. Although bearing close resemblances, they differ strongly in floral characteristics and colour, he said.

According to The Hindu report, Prof. Sabu and Dr. Hareesh recorded the presence of Ophiorrhiza medogensis, a Himalayan species, known so far only from Medog, Tibet was first described by H. Li in 1980.

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