Two researchers from the Botany Department of the Andhra University and the National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, have found a new plant species in the Eastern Ghats.
The species found on the Galikonda hill, known for its scenic beauty in the Araku valley in the tribal area of Visakhapatnam district, is named Emilia reddyi. During field studies on the biodiversity and taxonomy on the hill, a researcher of the Forest and Ecology group of the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hydearabad, K. V. Satish, and faculty of the Department of Botany of Andhra University, J. Prakasa Rao, stumbled upon the plant at 1,245 metres above mean sea level.
Belonging to the family of Asteraceae, the plant with light violet plum-coloured flowers blossoms between September and February.
Found it in 2013 and carried out studies using available references in books and expert views and known flora.
The plant has been deposited in the herbarium of the Andhra University and the Central National Herbarium, Kolkata. During the studies, 70 Emilia reddyi plants were found in a physical survey of 22.6 ha on the Galikonda hill.
Unlike the Himalayas and the Western Ghats, the Eastern Ghats are largely unexplored and the plant is endemic to the area in which it is found, the researchers observe.