A new species of Indian Muraingrass has been found in the Western Ghats by a team of researchers from Agarkar Research Institute (ARI) and University of Goa.
- Indian Muraingrass is a high economic value species as it is commonly used as cattle fodder.
- The new species is named Ischaemum janarthanamii.
- Belonging to the Ischaemum family, the new species was identified after carrying out morphological studies of laterite samples collected from the outskirts of Goa’s Bhagwan Mahavir National Park.
- The name janarthanamii of the new species is in honor of senior professor M K Janarthanam at Goa University. He contributed immensely for documenting Goa’s floristic diversity and Indian grass taxonomy.
- The species has survived the harsh conditions of the ecologically-sensitive Western Ghats.
- It has survived climatic conditions like extreme heat, desiccation and is growing in nutrition poor soil.
- As per researchers, despite the harsh conditions, the species blooms every monsoon season.
- Researchers from ARO studied the samples for three years before confirming their finding to be a new species.
- Their research helped in understanding the characteristics of Muraingrass in-detail.
- Of the 85 known Ischaemum species in the world, India is home to 61 species.
- Approximately 40 species are found in the Western Ghats alone.