Manipur: Researchers discover new flowering plant species 'Curcuma kakchingense'

Kakching: A team of researchers from Manipur University and Kwaklei and Khonggunmelei Orchids Pvt Ltd have made an exciting botanical discovery by identifying a new flowering plant species in the Kakching district of Manipur. This plant found growing along the banks of the Sekmai River, has been named “Curcuma kakchingense” in honor of the location where it was unearthed.

The team of researchers responsible for this discovery includes Dr. L Bidyaleima, Dr. Rajkumar Kishor, and Prof. GJ Sharma from the Department of Life Sciences at Manipur University. Their discovery has been documented and published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nordic Journal of Botany.

Belonging to the angiosperm family Zingiberaceae, which encompasses well-known genera such as Curcuma, Gingers, and Cardamom, Curcuma kakchingense stands out as a robust plant, reaching heights of up to eight feet and sporting large terminal inflorescence.

Dr. L Bidyaleima, one of the lead researchers, remarked, “The species bears a close resemblance to Curcuma phrayawan, a plant species native to Thailand, and Curcuma longa, known as ‘yaingang’ in the local tongue. However, what sets it apart is its distinctive lemon-yellow rhizomes with a notably bitter taste.”

As the plant’s presence is currently known only from a specific area, and there is limited information regarding its distribution and the number of mature individuals in its natural habitat, the conservation status of Curcuma kakchingense remains classified as “Data Deficient” under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List category. This classification implies that the available data related to its risk of extinction is insufficient to perform a comprehensive assessment, and therefore, the potential threat of extinction to this unique plant is yet to be determined, according to Dr. Rajkumar Kishor of Kwaklei and Khonggunmelei Orchids Pvt Ltd.

Prior to the discovery of Curcuma kakchingense, there were just 93 recorded Curcuma species recognized as accepted worldwide, with a significant majority originating from Thailand. In India, 42 Curcuma species have been recorded, with the last discovery being Curcuma kshonapatra in Karnataka in 2016 and Curcuma rubrobracteata in Mizoram in 2003.

Dear Reader,
Over the past four years, EastMojo revolutionised the coverage of Northeast India through our sharp, impactful, and unbiased coverage. And we are not saying this: you, our readers, say so about us. Thanks to you, we have become Northeast India’s largest, independent, multimedia digital news platform.
Now, we need your help to sustain what you started.
We are fiercely protective of our ‘independent’ status and would like to remain so: it helps us provide quality journalism free from biases and agendas. From travelling to the remotest regions to cover various issues to paying local reporters honest wages to encourage them, we spend our money on where it matters.
Now, we seek your support in remaining truly independent, unbiased, and objective. We want to show the world that it is possible to cover issues that matter to the people without asking for corporate and/or government support. We can do it without them; we cannot do it without you.
Support independent journalism, subscribe to EastMojo.

Thank you,
Karma Paljor

Curcuma plants hold significant importance due to their diverse uses in various fields, including cuisine, traditional medicine, spices, dyes, perfumes, cosmetics, and as ornamental plants.

Also Read | Meet the Telugu scientist who discovered 33 orchid species in Northeast India

Trending Stories

Latest Stories

Leave a comment

Leave a comment