- Scientists working at Centre for Medicinal Plants Research (CMPR) have discovered two new species of medicinal plants from the Western Ghats.
- M. Prabhukumar and Indira Balachandran headed the research team.
- A new Habenaria species was discovered during their floristic explorations in the shola forests on the Elival hills of the Muthikulam forest area in Palakkad.
- They also discovered a new Zingiber species from the Dhoni region of Palakkad.
- The ginger species was named Zingiber sabuanum after renowned taxonomist Mamiyil Sabu.
- The plant bears purple flowers with beautiful white dots and lines on it.
- The plant species which is unique to Western Ghats would bloom in June-July.
- The genus Zingiber is native to Southeast Asia, China, the Indian Subcontinent, and New Guinea. It contains the true gingers, plants grown the world over for their medicinal and culinary value.
- The Habenaria species was named Habenaria sahyadrica.
- Habenaria, commonly called bog orchids, are a far ranging genus of orchid. There are approximately 800-1000 species of Habenaria, native to every continent except Antarctica, in both tropical and temperate climates.
- About 45 species of Habenaria are known to occur in the Western Ghats of India, of which 21 species are endemic. In Kerala, 26 species were reported so far out of which 17 are endemic.
– News Item compiled by Dharma Teja