New species of African violets found in Mizoram
What is an epiphyte?
- An epiphyte is an organism that grows on the surface of a plant and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, water (in marine environments) or from debris accumulating around it.
About Didymocarpus genus
- Commonly known as African violets, native to Tanzania and Kenya have been popular in the horticultural world, often used indoors in European countries.
- They are widely distributed in Asia from Western Himalayas to Sumatra,
- But one of the unique features is that most of these species are narrow endemics (found in very less area) and require specialised habitats to survive, thus acting as an indicator of pristine habitats.
- There are 106 currently known species of this genus, of which 26 are in the northeast of India,
Why in the news?
- A new species Didymocarpus vickifunkiae, of African Violets have been recorded in Mizoram by IISER, Bhopal (a research institute under Ministry of Education).
- It is an epiphyte and is considered an endangered species. It produces light pink flowers during the monsoons.
- This discovery has upheld the north-east region’s sensitive and highly diversified biodiversity and unique biogeographic placement as a part of two biodiversity hotspots — the Indo-Burma and the Eastern Himalayas.
View all comments