New Ginger species found in Andamans

12/1/2017 534 Environment and Ecology | Biodiversity | View Recent Current Affairs

  • Scientists of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have found a new species of Zingiber (commonly referred as Ginger) from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

About Zinger species:

  • The species Zingiber pseudosquarrosum belonging to genus Zingiber, was already used by the local Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups ( PVTGs) of the Andamans for its medicinal values. But this species was hidden from the science.
  • After collecting and systematically analysing the species, scientists found that the new species indeed possesses ethno-medicinal uses.
  • The fresh extract of fleshy tuberous roots is used to treat abdominal pain and anti-helminthic troubles.
  • This pseudo stem of the new species is predominantly red in colour. Flowers have a vermilion tinge and dehisced fruit are lotus shaped. Inflorescence buds are urceolate in shape. The species has got tuberous root. The morphological features of this species makes it distinct from other species belonging to the genus Zingiber.
  • Like other species of Gingers, this new species is edible and can be propagated vegetatively from the rhizome. The planted rhizomes were successfully vegetavively propagated at the BSI garden at Port Blair after transplantation.
  • Species belonging to genera Zingiber are monocotyledonous flowering plants whose rhizomes are widely used as a spice or a traditional medicine.
  • Commonly used species of Zingiber (Zingiber officinale) known for its aromatic smell is cultivated widely across India.

About Botanical Survey of India (BSI):
The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is the apex research organization under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country. It was established on 13th February, 1890 with the basic objective to explore the plant resources of the country and to identify the plants species with economic virtues. The Botanical Survey of India has the nine regional circles situated at different regions of the country. The following are the activities being carried out by the BSI:

  • Exploration, inventorying and documentation of phytodiversity in general and protected areas, hotspots and fragile ecosystems in particular; publication of National, State and District Floras.
  • Identification of threatened/red list species and species rich areas needing conservation; ex-situ conservation of critically threatened species in botanical gardens.
  • Survey and documentation of traditional knowledge (ethno-botany) associated with plants.
  • Develop a National database of Indian plants, including herbarium and live specimens, botanical paintings/illustrations, etc.

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