Cryptocarya Muthuvariana: new tree species named after a tribe

A group of scientists has identified a new plant species from the forest area of Idamalakkudy colony in Idukki, where Muthuvar tribal community resides.

Key Points

  • Scientists including from University of Kerala and Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanical Garden & Research Institute (TBGRI), identified the plant.
  • New species of the plant has been named as ‘Cryptocaria Muthuvariana’, named after the Muthuvar tribal community.
  • Muthuvar Traibal community plays a significant role in conserving the forest.
  • For the first time, any plant species has been named after a local tribal community in the state.

Cryptocarya Muthuvariana

Cryptocarya Muthuvariana species of the tree belongs to genus Cryptocarya. The tree grows to a top of around 10 to 15 meters. It is characterised by not-too-broad leaves.

Muthuvar Tribal Community

Muthuvan people were loyal subjects of Madurai dynasty. When this dynasty was deposed, surviving royal members migrated to Travancore in Kerala. They carried idols of Madurai Meenakshi, deity of the royal family while migrating.  ‘Muthuvar word’ is used to denote same community in Tamil Nadu. Muthuvan people are ancient tribes of this land. This community is independent and reluctant to interact with others. They grow ragi, lemon grass and cardamom.


Leave a Reply