Sunday, October 4, 2015

[Botany • 2015] Sonerila gadgiliana • A New Scapigerous Species of Melastomataceae from India

Sonerila gadgiliana Ratheesh & Sivadasan
A. Habit; B. Plant with inflorescence; C. Leaves; D. Single flower; E. Flowers, flower buds and young fruit.

 Sonerila gadgiliana, a new species collected from high altitude moss-covered dripping rocks of grassland-shola margins in Wayanad district, Kerala, India is described and illustrated. The species resembles S. raghaviana Ratheesh et al., S. rotundifolia Bedd. and S. veldkampiana Ratheesh et al., but differs from leaf, inflorescence, peduncle, hypanthium, petal, anther, capsule and seed characteristics. 

Keywords: Kerala; Melastomatoideae; New species; Sonerileae.

 Etymology: The epithet is named in honour of Prof. Madhav Dhananjaya Gadgil, a renowned Indian ecologist, in recognition of his valuable research on ecology of Western Ghats and contributions to conservation of biodiversity.

 Distribution and habitat: Sonerila gadgiliana grows on high altitude moss-covered moist rocks in grassland-shola margins at altitudes of 1600–1700 m in contrast to S. raghaviana which grows in open grasslands. It is known only from the Banasuramala-Kurichiarmala hill ranges of the Wayanad district, Kerala. Small populations of this species are distributed at shady sholagrassland merging areas of the locality. The species appears during the onset of the South-West monsoon (June–July). Some of the associated species are Argostemma courtallense Arn., Eria nana A. Rich., Impatiens lawsonii Hook. f., I. scapiflora B. Heyne ex Roxb., Peristylus spiralis A. Rich. and Strobilanthes sp. 

M.K. Ratheesh Narayanan, M. Sivadasan, C.N. Sunil, M.K. Nandakumar, T. Shaju, A.H. Alfarhan, A.S.M. Amal Tamimi. 2015. Sonerila gadgiliana, A New Scapigerous Species of Melastomataceae from India. Bangladesh J. Plant Taxon. 22(1): 9–15. DOI: 10.3329/BJPT.v22i1.23861