Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 127-129. 2008.
gesnerioides (Willd.) Vatke: A New Record for the Kalakad
–Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil
Animal Health Research Unit, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous)
Palayamkottai – 627002, Tamil Nadu, India
(Willd.) Vatke, a plant
of the Scrophulariaceae that is often reported to be
parasitic on the roots of crop plants, has been reported for the first time
from the Kalakad Mundanthurai
Tiger Reserve forest, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu,
Keywords: Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Scrophulariaceae, Striga gesnerioides.
Tiger Reserve (KMTR), once largely a protected forest area, became a Tiger
reserve in 1988. This reserve, a global biodiversity hotspot, is a land of
ecological and biological diversity. The KMTR (895 Km2; 8°25' to 8o53'
N and 77°35' E) is located between Tirunelveli and
the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. On a field
trip to the wet forests of Kakachi (8°40' and 77°3'
E) in the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (Kakachi is located at 1250 m msl),
I had the opportunity to collect a very interesting plant. With the help of
the literature, it was later identified as Striga gesnerioides of the Scrophulariaceae. This plant was previously
(Willd.) Vatke, Oesterr. Bet.Z.25:11.1875; Alston in Trimen,
A parasitic root herb to 16 cm tall with stout, elongated, purple to brownish, leafless stems. Leaves reduced to scales. Leaves scaly, 1 x 0.3 cm. Spikes to 15 cm long, purple. Calyx- tube 3 mm long, 5-ribbed; lobes 5, lanceolate, 1-ribbed, to 5 mm long, sub succulent, hirsute without, and shortly acuminate. Corolla purple, ca. 5mm, wide, tube 8mm long, glabrous, lobes 5, obtuse, 5 mm long. Stamens 4; filament pairs 1 and 1.5 mm long, anthers oblong; 0.8mm long. Ovary oblong, 2.5 mm long; style 4.5 mm long; stigma sub capitate. Capsule obovoid, 5 mm long. Seeds elliptic. Fl. & Fr.: March - April.
Specimen examined: India: Tamil Nadu, Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, 1200m, 16th April 2001 (Voucher No.SXCAH1).
wish to thank V.K Melkani,
M.M.1990. Flora of the
D., and Fosberg, F.R.1983. Hand Book of flora of Ceylon. Vol.
Mathew, K. M.1998. Supplement to
illustration on the Flora of the Palani hills,