300 plant species discovered in 2016: BSI
Over 300 species of plants have been discovered in India in 2016, according to the Botanical Survey of India.
The Plant Discoveries 2016 - a compilation published by BSI on June 5 - reveals 206 species as new to science, and 113 species having new distributional record for India.
"Out of the (total) 319 taxa, 128 taxa of seed plants, 1 taxon of pteridophytes, 20 taxa of bryophytes, 32 taxa of lichens, 26 taxa of algae, 62 taxa of fungi and 50 taxa of microbes are added to India," said BSI Director Paramjit Singh.
Many newly discovered plants such as wild cardamom, wild ginger, wild amla have great medicinal as well as horticultural potential.
Though discoveries have been reported from almost all regions of the country, maximum discoveries were made from Western Ghats (17 per cent), followed by Eastern Himalaya (15 per cent) and Western Himalaya (13 per cent).
The BSI noted that "while compiling the tenth volume in the series of plant discoveries, we observed, there is a gradual increase in taxonomic activity in our the country".
"In this year's compilation, a special focus is given on the distribution pattern of the species in the newly defined phytogeographic regions of India. Our efforts are highly supported by the taxonomic fraternity from India and abroad," said Singh.