Tree of coffee family discovered in Andaman and Nicobar
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A 15-metre-tall tree that belongs to the genus of the coffee family has recently been discovered from the Andaman Islands by a team of researchers from India and therefore the Philippines.
- The new species, Pyrostria laljii, is also the first record of the genus Pyrostria in India.
- Plants belonging to the genus Pyrostria are usually found in Madagascar, but the recently discovered species are new to science.
- The genus Pyrostria isn't found in India, there are several genera from the Rubiaceae that are common in India. These plants have a high potential for economic value, includes:
- Researchers have also discovered a brand new species of pokeweed named Rivina andamanensis.
- It was found growing under large trees, shaded and rocky areas, along side herbs and shrubby plants.
- This discovery of latest species, representing the primary record of the Phytolaccaceae Petiveriaceae within the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
About Pyrostria laljii:
- The tree is distinguished by an extended stem with a whitish coating on the trunk.
- The oblong-obovate leaves with a cuneate base.
- It was first reported from the Wandoor forest in South Andaman.
- The other places within the Andaman and Nicobar Islands where the tree might be located are the Tirur forest near the Jarawa Reserve Forest and also the Chidia Tapu (Munda Pahar) forest.
- It has been assessed as ‘Critically Endangered’ based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List criteria.
- The species has been named Pyrostria laljii after Lal Ji Singh, Joint Director and Head of Office, Andaman and Nicobar Regional Centre, Botanical Survey of India.
- Another physical feature that distinguishes the tree from other species of the genus is its umbellate inflorescence with eight to 12 flowers.
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SOURCE: THE HINDU