Two new species of ginger have been discovered in Nagaland by scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
- The north-east region of the country is rich in species diversity and one of the least explored regions of the country.
- here, new species of plants and animals are being discovered on a regular basis and the recent discovery of ginger species in Nagaland underlines the importance of more research in the region.
The New Species
- The new species of Zingiber or most commonly known as ginger in Nagaland are named as Zingiber perenense and Zingiber dimapurense.
- While Zingiber perenense is found in the Peren district of Nagaland, the Zingiber dimapurense is found in the Dimapur district.
- Zingiber dimapurense is taller than Zingiber perenense. It is 90-120 cm and perenense is 70cm tall.
- The specimen of Zingiber perenense was collected in 2017. It grows in moist shady areas along the banks of small streams in the hilly terrain forests of Peren subdivision.
- The Zingiber dimapurense specimen was collected in 2016 from the Hekese forest. Rhizomes of this species were planted at the BSI centre in Shillong and they started flowering in 2018.
- The genus Zinziber is distributed across Asia, Australia and South Pacific. It has 141 species.
- In northeast India alone over 20 species have been discovered and 12 of them in the last decade.
- The large species diversity in the region shows that the region is conducive for Zinziber’s growth.
- Scientists are ascertaining whether the new species have any medicinal properties.
With the new discoveries, time and again it is shown that the northeast region has much more to offer to the scientific world. Be it in animal diversity or plant diversity, there are more discoveries to be made. Conserving and preserving the species-rich forests of northeast India from the vagaries of climate change and human activities is the need of the hour.