Arunachal: New plant records for India from Ziro valley and RGU Campus
ITANAGAR- A team of researchers from two different countries jointly recorded two new plants for India. Both the articles are published in the peer reviewed reputed journal of plant taxonomy, The Journal of Japanese Botany from Japan.
Miss Momang Taram, a researcher of Rajiv Gandhi University ( RGU ) in on one of her trips to the famous Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh collected some specimens of a unique Lipstick plant (Aeschynathus).
Later Dipankar Borah, an Assistant Professor from Goalpara College on perusal of several articles on the group, confirmed that it was not recorded from India so far.
On communication with Dr. David Middleton of Singapore Botanic Gardens for his comments as he has revised the genus in Southeast Asia it was confirmed to be Aeschynathus lineatus. And was published as a new record for India after two long years of waiting.
Similarly, the second article in the series dates back to 2016, when both the above named young scientists were Masters students. While wandering on the university campus on a lazy day they suddenly stumbled upon a wax flower (Hoya) hanging high on a dead tree trunk.
They managed to find a long bamboo pole to collect a specimen at least. The first look of it was enough for both to confirm that it was not the most common species (i.e. Hoya parasitica) which is generally encountered.
On communication with Dr. Michele Rodda of Singapore Botanic Gardens, the expert on the genus Hoya, it came to a conclusion, that the species was Hoya oreogena, and is not recorded from India yet.
In addition, on critical study the authors found two more species with the least different characters. As they are the same species with different names, hence they are also synonymized within H.oreogena.
It is a matter of great surprise, that even the present day campus of Rajiv Gandhi University, India holds native plants which are new records for India.
Imagine, the load of the work needs to be done in such biodiverse regions of Northeast. Just a few days back Dipankar Borah has also discovered a new alpine plant species from Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.