Sunday, October 4, 2015

[Botany • 2014] Sonerila raghaviana • A New Species (Melastomataceae) from southern Western Ghats of Karnataka, India

Sonerila raghaviana  Ratheesh, Sunil, Nandakumar & Shaju


Sonerila raghaviana, a new species of Melastomataceae collected from high altitude rocky grassland in Coorg District, Karnataka, India is described and illustrated. It differs from Sonerila rotundifolia by its densely hairy leaf lamina and inflorescence, inflorescence with up to 15 flowers, an obscurely ridged calyx tube with dense glandular bristles, deeply cordate anthers, and tubercled seeds and from S. veldcampiana by having angular hairy peduncle, densely glandular bristly calyx tube, petals with glandular hairs below, shortly acuminate non-beaked anthers, and densely bristly capsule. 

Key words: Coorg, India, Karnataka, new species, Melastomataceae, Sonerila

Distribution, habitat and ecology: Sonerila raghaviana grows on high altitude grasslands at altitudes of 1400-1600 m a.s.l. It is known only from the Thalacauvery area of Brahmagiri Hills of the Coorg District, Karnataka State, India. Small populations of this species are distributed in grassy slopes and road cuttings in the area. The species appears with the onset the south-west Monsoon (June-July).

Flowering & Fruiting: Flowering from early July with peak in September; fruiting in October

Etymology: The epithet is proposed in honour of Prof. M. Raghavan, retired Professor of Botany Department, Payyanur College, Kannur, Kerala.

M. K. Ratheesh Narayanan , C. N. Sunil , M. K. Nandakumar , T. Shaju , V. Mini , K.T. Satheesh and V. Balakrishnan. 2014. Sonerila raghaviana sp. nov. (Melastomataceae), A New Species from southern Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. International Journal of Advanced Research. 2(10); 772-777.