New plant found in Arunachal

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Guwahati, July 9: Researchers from the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, have discovered a new plant family in the country in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Petrosavia sakuraii is an extremely rare species and grows on the forest floor under broad-leaved or coniferous trees in humid, temperate regions of Japan, Taiwan and South China.
It was first reported by Japanese botanist Tomitaro Makino in 1903 in Japan as Miyoshia sakuraii and was later corrected as Petrosavia sakuraii by Smith in 1934.
Nazir Ahmad Bhat of Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, North-Eastern Hill University, said the researchers, while studying the floristic account of Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary of Arunachal Pradesh, collected some interesting specimens of a small yellow saprophytic plant, growing on decaying leaf litter, under the canopy of dense evergreen forest.
“After a critically examining the specimen, its identity was confirmed as Petrosavia sakuraii,” he said.
The discovery has been reported in the current issue of Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy.
“A scrutiny of literature pertaining to the flora of India revealed that the family Petrosaviaceae is hitherto not reported from India. Therefore, the present report of this taxon from Arunachal Pradesh is the first report of the species, genus and family for India,” he said.
Licha Jeri of Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, North-Eastern Hill University, said the plant was collected from Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh on August 13 last year by her and Bhat.
The stem is erect, simple and usually single. Leaves are reduced to scales.
She said the plant grows mainly on thick, shady, moist places of virgin forests. The species normally grows in the decomposed litter but some have been collected from mossy trees as an epiphyte. (TTNE)