Pinanga andamanensis 

#GS3 #Biodiversity #Environment 

A rare palm endemic to the South Andaman Island is finding a second home at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI). An earlier JNTBGRI effort in this direction had been thwarted by mischievous wild elephants that ate up all the specimens! 

Status : Critically Endangered 

  • Its entire population of some 600 specimens naturally occurs only in a tiny, evergreen forest pocket in South Andaman’s Mount Harriet National Park. 
  • By conserving the germplasm on the Indian mainland, JNTBGRI can ensure its continued survival in the event of its minuscule original home getting wiped out by a natural calamity. 
  • This elegant palm holds promise as an avenue tree for gardens, pavements and homesteads. 

The name is derived from ‘Penang’, the modern-day Malaysian state. Penang itself has its origins in ‘Pulau Pinang’, which means ‘Island of the Areca Nut Palm. 

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