Lifestyle Environment 20 May 2017 CUSAT scholar discov ...

CUSAT scholar discovers rare plant, species

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published May 20, 2017, 7:20 am IST
Updated May 20, 2017, 7:20 am IST
C.B. Ambily found the ancient vascular plant from Kolmbuthodu region of the sanctuary.
E carteri and H zeylanica
 E carteri and H zeylanica

Kochi: A research scholar of the School of Environmental Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT),  has discovered a rare plant and a multi-cellular species in Thattekkad bird sanctuary. Scholar C.B. Ambily found the  ancient vascular plant, helminthostachys zeylanica and fresh water sponge eunapius carteri from the Kolmbuthodu region of the sanctuary.

Helminthostachys zeylanica is a monotypic genus belonging to the family of ophiolossaceae and its vernacular name is ‘pazhutharakali.’  This is for the first time that the plant has been found in Ernakulam district. It has several medicinal values and is used by practitioners of traditional medicine to treat snake bite, fatigue, impotency and to enhance memory.        

 

The fresh water sponge belongs to the spongillidae family of eunapius genus. In India this species is widely represeknted in the plains even extending to moderate heights. In Kerala its distribution is confined to Thattekad sanctuary. The taxon was attached to the rocky surface, dead wood and submerged stump of bamboos. This sponge roughly circular in shape  measured up to 10- 14 cm across and grows huge in size and outnumbers any other sponge sharing habitat.

The findings were presented at  many conferences. Dr. A. Mohandas, Dr. S. Rajathy, Dr. Sugathan  guided Ambily in the research.

 

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