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Nature

137 New Plant Species Discovered

Western ghats

A publication from the Botanical Insitute of India reported that over 100 new plant species were discovered in India. One hundred and thirty seven are new to science, and 30 were discovered in India for the first time. “The Indian flora is mainly concentrated in three major centres of diversity namely Himalayas, the Western Ghats and Andaman and Nicobar islands. The discoveries reflect the potential of the country’s plant heritage which is yet to be explored,”  said BSI director M Sanjappa.

Among the discoveries were two new species of bamboo and cinnamon, and three new species of ginger. Bamboo is increasingly seen as a renewable source of wood for some types of construction projects and flooring. Cinnamon could have capacities for thinning blood, anti-inflammation, blood sugar control, and stopping bacteria and fungal growth. Ginger has been used to treat many health conditions such as nausea, arthritis, sore throats, colds, and more. Of course the two spices have also added much enjoyment to the consumption of various foods for centuries as well.

The Western Ghats are a mountain-like region thought to be perhaps 150 million years old. They used to be mainly dense forest but have had areas converted to agriculture and timber, enough so that the biodiversity there is protected partially by reserves. The Ghats are known for their rich biodiversity. The Amadan and Nicobar islands are located in the Bay of Bengal, and are a chain of 572 islands.

Image Credit: Public Domain, Western Ghats Wiki




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