Scientists have discovered two new species of Ginger in Ukhrul in Manipur and Tuensang in Nagaland. These two easternmost districts both border Myanmar.
Hedychium chingmeianum, the species discovered in Tuensang district, is an epiphytic plant and grows on tall trees, whileCaulokaempferia dinabandhuensiswas found growing in rock crevices, boulders and humus rich soil in the Shirui Hills, where the highest peak stands at an elevation of 2,938 metres.
Both the plant species are from the family ofZingiberaceae, to which the commonly found Ginger (Zingiber officinale) belongs.
Nripemo Odyou and Dilip Kumar Roy, scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI) found the plantHedychium chingmeianum, growing on tree trunks at Chingmei village in Tuensang district.
The plant, with reddish stems and creamy white flowers, was brought to the regional centre of the Botanical Survey of India, Shillong, and cultivated there.
A paper on the discovery was published earlier inTelopea, an international Journal of Plant Systematics.
“Most of the species under the genusHedychiumhave medicinal properties. It is yet to be ascertained whether the newly discovered speciesHedychium chingmeianumhas medicinal properties or not,” Mr. Odyou toldThe Hindu.
He said that out 44 taxa, 31 species and 13 varieties of genusHedychiumfound in India, only five are reported in south India. The remaining species are all found in the northeast.
The speciesCaulokaempferia dinabandhuensiswas discovered by Biseshwori Thongam and Bipin Konsam of the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development. The species has beautiful oval-shaped pink flowers which are found in in June-July.
It was during a trip to Ukhrul hills that Dinabandhu Sahoo, director of the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, spotted this species. The scientists named the species after Mr. Dinabandhu Sahoo.