Drypetes kalamii: New plant species from West Bengal
Scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have identified new plant species named Drypetes kalamii from Buxa and Jaldapara National Parks in West Bengal. It has been named after former President of India, Dr APJ Kalam. The new species is close relative of medicinal plant known in Sanskrit as Putrajivah.
Drypetes kalamii is small shrub found to be shorter version of its close relative Drypetes ellisii. It is found in wet, shaded areas of subtropical, moist semi-evergreen forests, at heights of 50-100 metres. It is just 1 metre tall and is unisexual in nature, which means they have separate male and female plants. It has pale yellow flowers in clusters and bright orange to red fruits. Scientists have provisionally assessed plant to be “Critically Endangered” as per IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) rules. It faces threat from forest fires and grazing.