The Elenadu Shortcrown Brachystelma elenaduense Sathyan. (Asclepiadaceae) - a new distribution record for Tamil Nadu, India

 

S. Kaliamoorthy 1, T.S. Saravanan 2, B.S. Elango 3 & G.V.S. Murthy 4

 

1,2,3 Botanical Survey of India, Southern Regional Centre, National Orchidarium & Experimental Garden, Yercaud, Salem District, Tamil Nadu 636602, India

4 Botanical Survey of India, Southern Regional Centre, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 614003, India

1 skmoorthybsi@gmail.com (corresponding author), 2 rammaheshsaran@gmail.com, 3 yercaudelango@gmail.com, 4 gvs.23.murthy@gmail.com

 

 

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3880.7587-8

 

Editor: N.P. Balakrishnan, Retd. Joint Director, BSI, Coimbatore, India. Date of publication: 26 July 2015 (online & print)

 

Manuscript details: Ms # o3880 | Received 11 November 2013 | Final received 07 July 2015 | Finally accepted 26 June 2015

 

Citation: Kaliamoorthy, S., T.S. Saravanan, B.S. Elango & G.V.S. Murthy (2015). The Elenadu Shortcrown Brachystelma elenaduense Sathyan. (Asclepiadaceae) - a new distribution record for Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(9): 7587–7588; http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3880.7587-8

 

Copyright: © Kaliamoorthy et al. 2015. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.

 

Funding: This study is an in-house project.

 

Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

 

Acknowledgements: The authors are thankful to the Director, Botanical Survey of India

for necessary support and constant encouragement.

 

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The Eastern Ghats, an uneven terrain running nearly parallel to the eastern coast of India, are divisible into three zones, viz.: northern ghats, middle ghats and southern ghats (Rao 1998). Kolli Hill, one of the present study areas, is one among eight hills in the southern region. It lies at 78020’78030’E & 11010’11030’N, covering about 500km2. Forests cover 44% of the total geographical area, agricultural activities take place in 51.6% and other activities cover less than 5% of the area. Annual rainfall varies between 300750 mm and the soil type varies between red to black clay. The altitude range of the Kolli Hills varies from 2001415 m. The geology of the area is characterized by charnockites associated with gneisses and metamorphic rocks. The number of flowering plants in the Eastern Ghats is approximately about 3,500 species (Pullaiah & Rao 2002).

Yercaud is a component of the Eastern Ghats situated between 11048”N & 78011”E at an altitude of 1400m. Geologically, the Yercaud area is rich in archaean charnoekites with very few belts of granite gneiss. Along the hill slopes, the soil is red sandy-loam. Yercaud has a salubrious climate with a very equitable temperature and receives both the southwest and northeast monsoons. The annual rainfall ranges from 8301350 mm. The temperature varies from 1130 0C. Yercaud has the forest types ranging from evergreen to moist deciduous with fragments of shols on its western side (Udayan et al. 2005).

The present plant exploration study was conducted in the month of October 2013 in the above-mentioned hill ranges. Of the many plant species recorded, Brachystelma elenaduense Sathyan., is found to be the new distributional record for these regions in general and Tamil Nadu in particular. A brief botanical description and photographs are provided below to facilitate the easy identification of this species.

 

Brachystelma elenaduense

Sathyan. in Curr. Sci. 47(24): 965 (-966; figs. A-B). 1978 [20 Dec 1978] (as “elenaduensis”); G.D. Arekal & T.M. Ramakrishna, Bull. Bot. Surv. Ind. 24:217, 1982. (Asclepiadaceae).

Material examined: Kolli Hills, Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu, ~1200m, Shevaroy Hills, Salem District, Tamil Nadu, ~1350m, coll. Kaliamoorthy et al. (Images 1,2). A scanty population of mature individuals was observed in the study areas.

Distribution: Near Elenadu, Tumkur District, Karnataka, India.

 

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Description: Erect perennial herb, with tuber-like rhizome; tubers ovate to discoid, brownish fleshy, 23 cm in diam. Stems 4.5–11 cm tall, branched, slender, puberulous, internodes approximately 0.4–0.65 cm long; buried part of the stem smooth and whitish in colour. Leaves 1–2.5 cm x 0.6–3 mm fleshy, linear to linear-lanceolate, narrowly acute. Flowers usually solitary 59 mm long, axillary, pedicel slender, puberulous; calyx 5-fid, lobes 3–4 mm long, narrowly acute; corolla lobes deltoid, reflexed; purple; corona stamina, 2-seriate; outer corona 5-bifid, obtuse not reflexed; inner corona 5-lobed tridentate, overtopping the anthers; hairy.

Phenology: Flowering: April–June Fruiting: May–September

Habitat and Distribution: This species was found growing amidst grasses on open rocky hill slopes deposited with sandy loamy soil at an altitudinal range between 12001350 m in both the Kolli and Yercaud Hills of Tamil Nadu. The associated grass species were invariably found to be a Cymbopogon species.

Remarks: This species was earlier reported from Elenadu, Tumkur District of Karnataka (Char 1978; Arekal & Ramakrishna 1982). So far none of the published floras of Tamil Nadu has reported this species. The present collection from the Kolli Hills of Namakkal District and Shevaroy Hills of Yercaud, Salem District is not only a new report to the state but also extends its distribution to the Eastern Ghats.

 

References

 

Arekal, G.D. & T.M. Ramakrishna (1982). Notes on Brachystelma elenaduensis (Asclepiadaceae). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 24(14): 217218.

Char, M.B.S. (1978). A new species of Brachystelma R. Br. (Asclepiadaceae) from India. Current Science 47(24): 965–966.

Pullaiah T. & D.M. Rao (eds.) (2002). Flora of Eastern Ghats: Hill ranges of South East India - Vol. 1, Regency Publication, New Delhi.

Rao, R.S. (ed.) (1998). Vegetation and valuable plant resources of the Eastern Ghats, pp. 5986. Proceedings of the National seminar on “Conservation of Eastern Ghats”. EPTRI, Hyderabad, India.

Udayan, P.S., K.V. Tushar, S. George, A.K. Pradeep & I. Balachandran (2005). Phyllanthus kozhikodianus Sivar. & Mani. (Euphorbiaceae) - A new record for Tamil Nadu. Zoos’ Print Journal 20(6): 1904; http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.ZPJ.1271.1904