It was in 1835 that Madhuca diplostemon, a threatened species of the Western Ghats, was spotted A tree species, long believed extinct, has been rediscovered after a gap of more than 180 years from a sacred grove in Kollam district. Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) at Palode here have identified the tree as Madhuca diplostemon (family Sapotaceae), a threatened species of the Western Ghats whose specimen was first collected in 1835. Only one mature tree has been found so far, which makes this remarkable rediscovery extremely valuable from a scientific, environmental and conservation point of view. A paper on the finding authored by Shailajakumari S., Santhosh Kumar E.S., Sreekala A.K., and R. Prakashkumar of the JNTBGRI and Parthipan B. of S.T. Hindu College, Nagercoil, has been published in Rheedea, the journal of the Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy. The lone mature tree was located at the Koonayil Ayiravilli Siva Temple at Paravur, Kollam. Locally, it was erroneously believed to be the common Attilippa . Shailajakumari, one of the authors of the paper, had collected a specimen and brought it to JNTBGRI two years ago as part of her PhD dissertation. However, surveys […]

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