Tuesday, October 31, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Pilea victoriae • A New Striking Species from the Mural Flora (Urticaceae) of Western Ghats, India

Pilea victoriae  V. Suresh & Sojan

A new species of Pilea Lindley. from Palakkad gap region of Western Ghats of Kerala is described and illustrated as Pilea victoriae sp. nov. IUCN status, distribution, phenology, phenetic relationships, plastid genome variation and its affinities are discussed.

Keywords: New species, Pilea, Palakkad, Urticaceae, Western Ghats.


Pilea victoriae V. Suresh & Sojan sp.nov. 

  Diagnosis: Pilea victoriae V. Suresh & Sojan sp. nov. closely resembling P. microphylla but differs and easily distinguished by its erect stem with basal branching, 2–2.5 mm long ovate stipule, orbicular leaf blade of equal or sub-equal size at each node and pistillate inflorescence bearing 3–22 flowers. (Table 1). 

Etymology: The species is named after Government ‘Victoria’ College, Palakkad, Kerala, India in recognition of its more than 125 years of service to the education sector of the state. 

Distribution, ecology & Biotic association: So far P. victoriae sp. nov. is collected from three different localities of two districts viz. Victoria College Campus, Malampuzha and Nemmara regions of Palakkad district and Perinthalmanna region of Malappuram district, Kerala. Good populations were observed in these areas in an altitudinal gradient 100–200 m. But each population is restricted to a particular area of the collection localities.

Sojan Jose, Suresh V., Hareesh V.S., Robi A.J., Resmy P.S., Dinesh Raj R., Asha V.V., Prakashkumar R. and Madhusoodanan P.V. 2017. Pilea victoriae (Urticaceae), A New Striking Species from the Mural Flora of Western Ghats, India.  International Journal of Advanced Research 5(8); 1636–1641. DOI:  10.21474/IJAR01/5224

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