This oval-leaf Pipevine species had been reported growing in thickets and forests in South-Central China at an altitude of about 1000-2000 metre.
The flower of the new plant has been featured in the ‘Newly added flower first’ category of the website (https://www.flowersofindia.net/).
The flower hunters of Flowers of India site, spotted the plant while exploring floristic diversity at Shirui Kashung peak in Manipur’s Ukhrul district, the natural habitat of state flower Shiuri Lily (Lilium Mackliniae) which blossom in May-June.Sources available here said the plant was known as ‘Ngashanwon’ at the Shirui village in Ukhrul district.
The team which includes Th Rajshree, a nature lover from Manipur, took some photographs of the unidentified flowers including this climbing shrub along with some unknown plants during their trip in recent past.
Tabish Qureshi, creator of the 13-year-old site, said, “The rare plant was spotted during our usual trip to the Shiuri Peak this summer while exploring the natural habitat of Shirui Lily. But our team managed to identify the plant by consulting concerned parties.”
This species was not reported earlier and is a new addition to the flora of the country.
This climbing shrub with stems round, striped, densely yellow-brown hairy, with elongate internodes, are borne singly in axils of leafy shoots. The name pipevine refers to unusual shape of the flowers, which look like Dutch smoking pipes.
Tabish, a physicist by profession also confirmed that there is no report of spotting this species in the Botanical Survey of India records. He said, this rare plant must be growing in similar climate in North East but nobody realised it.
Reacting to a question, Tabish said the rarity of the plant signifies its ecological significance. “But we did not know the economic value of plant,” he added.
Earlier, the team had spotted a tiny carnivorous plant at Shirui Kashung peak, the natural habitat of Manipur’s state flower Shirui Lily ( Lilium Mackliniae) under Ukhrul district. But this tiny carnivorous plant is not going to do anything to the biodiversity of the Shirui Kashung peak. According to experts, it only helps the plant to survive in situation where soil nutrients are insufficient.