Uraria lacei Craib plant Credit: Facebook

Imphal: In yet another milestone in the conservation of biodiversity, a rare plant species Uraria lacei Craib, a family of Leguminosae, was recently rediscovered in Manipur after 67 years in India. The rare plant which was traced in Manipur is needed for conservation.

The “Uraria lacei Craib” was rediscovered at Keibui Lamjao National Park by a research scholar Jahnabi Gogoi of Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research Molecular Systematics Laboratory, Systematics and Herbarium Division, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow during a field visit during October-November, 2019 to Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya.

Gogoi was helped by Tikam Singh Rana, chief scientist, area coordinator and head of the plant diversity, systematics & herbarium division, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.

Uraria Lacei Craib is a beautiful species with dark blue inflorescence and it is distributed in India, China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, it said.

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According to the journal, after going through all the data available in the public domain and specimens in different herbaria, it was found that the last collection of the rare flower was reported on September 11, 1952, by Dr DB Deb in Imphal. And the rediscovery of this beautiful species fills a gap in the current distribution knowledge and should the pave for its immediate conservation and propagation.

The discovery and its findings have been reported in the PhytoKeys journal on September 8, 2020.

The rare herb species was rediscovered in the outskirts of the 40 square km Keibui Lamjao National Park, the world’s only floating wildlife sanctuary.

“As the plant has beautiful inflorescence and foliage, it would therefore be well-suited for domestication as an ornamental plant,” Gogoi said in the journal.

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