New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Species in news: Wild Sun Rose (Portulaca Laljii)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Portulaca Laljii

Mains level : NA

Botanists have discovered a new species of wild Sun Rose from the Eastern Ghats in India.

Try this PYQ from CSP 2018:

Q.Why is a plant called Prosopis juliflora often mentioned in the news?

(a) Its extract is widely used in cosmetics.

(b) It tends to reduce the biodiversity in the area in which it grows

(c) Its extract is used in the pesticides.

(d) None of the above

Portulaca Laljii

  • The new species named Portulaca laljii was discovered from the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • It has unique features such as a tuberous root, no hair in its leaf axils, a reddish-pink flower, prolate-shaped fruits, and copper brown seeds without luster.
  • Portulaca Laljii has been named to honor the contribution of Lal Ji Singh, an eminent botanist of the Botanical Survey of India.
  • The species has been placed under the ‘Data Deficient’ category of the IUCN List of Threatened Species because very little information is available about the population of the species.

Morphological features

  • These morphological features distinguish the species from other species of the genus Portulaca.
  • The flowers, which are reddish-pink in color, are very minute, at about 0.5mm.
  • The plant was found growing in rocky crevices at an altitude of about 1,800 meters above mean sea level, very close to the ground, at about less than 10 cm.
  • The plants belonging genus Portulaca are classified in the category Sun Rose because they flower in bright sunshine.
  • The genus was described by Linnaeus in 1753 as a type genus of the flowering plant family Portulacaceae.

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