Impatiens karuppusamyi – A New Plant Species from Tamil Nadu

In a positive development for biodiversity, researchers from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have identified a new plant species in the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu. Named ‘Impatiens karuppusamyi,’ the discovery is a testament to the rich and diverse flora of the region.

Discovery Details

  1. Location: The new plant species was found in the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.
  2. Name Significance: The species has been named ‘Impatiens karuppusamyi’ in honor of Dr. S Karuppusamy of Madhura College, Tamil Nadu, for his significant contributions to the taxonomy of south Indian angiosperms.
  3. Botanical Exploration: Researchers collected specimens of a lithophytic Impatiens during a botanical exploration in the tiger reserve.
  4. Distinct Features: Upon examination, it was noted that the species differed from all known species of Impatiens. It shares similarities with Impatiens Bicornis but differs in terms of leaf size, flower count, scape length, and flower size.
  5. Unique Characteristics:
    • Conical spur with a horizontally straight, obtuse tip.
    • Base of the anterior lobe with two purplish, fleshy, and erect auriculate projections.
    • Stout biseriate purplish-blue hairs in front of the mouth.
    • Orange-pinkish pollen grains.
  6. Global Distribution: Impatiens is a widespread genus with over 1,000 species worldwide, with more than 280 found in India. It is prevalent in tropical Africa, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, and China.

Threats and Conservation

  1. Climate Change Concerns: The researchers highlight the limited distribution of Impatiens in the area and express concerns about potential extinction due to climate change.
  2. Previous Discoveries: Earlier, three new species of Impatiens were discovered in Thiruvananthapuram and Idukki districts of Kerala, emphasizing the ongoing efforts in documenting India’s plant diversity.
  3. Collaborative Research: The discovery is a collaborative effort between the Botanical Survey of India and Madras Christian College, Chennai.



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