A new species of the genus Allmania has been recently identified on the granite hillocks of Palakkad, Kerala. The discovery has come 188 years after the genus and the first species were described by botanists.

 

About the new species

  • It is named Allmania multiflora. The species is quite special from both the botanical and conservation points of view. Allmania multiflora is only the second species of this genus identified so far anywhere.
  • It is an annual herb that grows to a height of about 60 cm, erect, with branches arising from the base.
  • The stem is red to violet at the base and green above.
  • Found at heights ranging between 1,000 to 1,250 metres.
  • Shorter tepals and wider gynoecium (parts of the flower), shorter bracts and in the diameter of the seeds are among the characteristics that distinguishes it from Allmania nodiflora.
  • Flowering and fruiting occurs from May to September.
  • Allmania multiflora has been so named for having a higher number of florets within an inflorescence.
  • Given its small population, the researchers have assessed it as Critically Endangered, applying IUCN Red List criteria.

 

About the Allmania nodiflora

  • It is distinct from Allmania nodiflora, which so far had been accepted as the lone Allmania species.
  • The first species, Allmania nodiflora, was originally published under the genus Celosia as Celosia nodiflora in 1753.
  • Specimens found in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) were first described as Allmania nodiflora in 1834.