“Pyrostria laljii” – A New Species Discovered in Andaman and Nicobar

What is the News? 

Pyrostria laljii, a new species of coffee family, has been discovered in the Andaman Islands by a team of researchers from India and the Philippines.

About Pyrostria laljii:

  • Pyrostria laljii is a 15-meter-tall tree that belongs to the genus of the coffee family. It is the first species of the genus Pyrostria in India.
    • The genus Pyrostria plants are usually found in Madagascar.
      Source: – The Hindu

      The recently discovered species is new to science.

  • Features: The tree is distinguished by a long stem with a whitish coating on the trunk. It has oblong-ovate leaves with a cuneate base.
    • Another physical feature that distinguishes the tree from other species of the genus is its umbellate inflorescence with eight to 12 flowers.
  • Where was the tree found? The tree was first reported from the Wandoor forest in South Andaman. The other places in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands where the tree could be located are the Tirur forest near the Jarawa Reserve Forest and the Chidiya Tapu (Munda Pahar) forest.
  • Conservation Status: Pyrostria laljii has been listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List criteria.
  • Named after: The tree has been named Pyrostria laljii after Lal Ji Singh, Joint Director, Andaman and Nicobar Regional Centre, Botanical Survey of India.

Note: The trees from the genus Pyrostria are usually not found in India. But there are several genera from the family Rubiaceae that are common in India. These plants include cinchona, coffee, adina, hamelia, ixora, gallium, gardenia, mussaenda, rubia, morinda. These trees have a high economic value.

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Other New Tree Species Discovered:

  • Researchers have also discovered a new species of a tree named Rivina andamanensis.
  • The tree belongs to the pokeweed family Petiveriaceae. It is the first time that it was found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The tree was found growing under large trees, shaded and rocky areas, along with herbs and shrubby plants.

Source: The Hindu

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