New wild balsam species spotted in Kerala get names of VS Achuthanandan, KK Shailaja
Thrissur: Three new wild balsam (popularly known as ‘Kaashi Thumba’ or ‘Sheema Thumba’) species have been identified in Kerala, in a research conducted at Western Ghats. The new species belong to genus Impatiens which comes under family Balsaminaceae.
The plants were identified by S. Arya, who is doing research under the guidance of Dr V S Anilkumar, Associate Professor at Botany department in University College in Thiruvananthapuram. The team is leading a research about flora in Western Ghats.
Among the three species identified, two were named after VS Achuthanandan and KK Shailaja as an honour to their contributions in environmental protection and for containing Nipah/COVID-19 virus outbreaks in Kerala, respectively. The plants are named Impatiens achudanandanii and Impatiens shailajae.
Meanwhile, the third species is named after Dr Mathew Dan, Principal Scientist at Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute in Thiruvananthapuram. The plant was named Impatiens danii.