Endangered African Violet plant discovered in Mizoram

A new species of plant, called African violet, was discovered by Indian Institute of Science education and research (IISER), Bhopal.

Key Points

  • African violet is found in parts of Mizoram and adjoining areas in Myanmar.
  • This discovery has given a platform for northeast in biodiversity which is still understudied and undiscovered.
  • Discovery was done under Tropical Ecology and Evolution Lab, a unit of IISER.
  • IISER Bhopal described new species as “Didymocarpus Vickifunkiae”.
  • This species is found in only three locations currently in Mizoram.
  • They are considered as an endangered species.

About African violet plants

They are the flowering plants in genus Saintpaulia of family Gesneriaceae. These plants are native to higher elevations in tropical eastern Africa. They are widely grown horticulturally and are characterised by small perennial herbs having thick, hairy, ovate leaves. Leaves are dark green and have long stems. These plants are bilaterally symmetric comprising of five petals. They can be white, violet or pink in colour.

Background

Genus Saintpaulia was named to honour Walter, Freiherr (baron) von Saint Paul-Illaire who was a German colonial official and discovered the genus in 1892 in German East Africa (now Tanzania).

About IISER Bhopal

It was established by Ministry of Human Resource & Development (now, Ministry of Education) in 2008. Institute has been ranked 26 in Times Higher Education 2021 Rankings.

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