Sunday, October 4, 2015

[Botany • 2014] Sonerila vythiriensis • A New Species of Sonerila Roxb. (Melastomataceae) From Kerala, India


Sonerila vythiriensis Ratheesh, Nandakumar & Sujana
Figure 1: Sonerila vythiriensis sp. nov. A. Habitat; B. Habit; C. Leaf; D. Leaf margin; F. Flower; J. Fruit.

Abstract
 A new species of Sonerila Roxburgh (Melastomataceae) collected from high altitude moss covered dripping rocks of evergreen forest in Wayanad district, Kerala, India is described. It differs from Sonerila wallichii by its densely hairy leaves, inflorescence with up to 10 flowers, glabrous terete peduncle and pedicel, glabrous deep pink calyx tube without ridges and petals without glandular hairs.

Key Words: India, Kerala, new species, Melastomataceae, Sonerila, Wayanad.


Distribution, habitat and ecology: Sonerila vythiriensis grows on dripping rock crevices in evergreen forests at altitudes of 1000-1100 m a.s.l. It is known only from the evergreen forests of Vythiri-Chembra hill ranges of the Wayanad district, Kerala. Small populations of this species are distributed near the temporary rocky streams in the area. We noticed only two well separated populations, each of not more than 30 plants, one from under rocks and another one from rock crevices.The species appears with the onset of the south-west monsoon (June– July).

Flowering & Fruiting: Flowering from early July with peak in August; fruiting in August-September.

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the type locality, Vythiri Ghats, Wayanad district in Kerala State, India. 


Ratheesh Narayanan M. K., Nandakumar M. K. Parameswaran Prajeesh, Sujana K. A., Sunil C. N. and T. Shaju. 2014. A New Species of Sonerila Roxb. (Melastomataceae) From Kerala, India. Annals of Plant Sciences. 3(11), 863-868.

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