In News : Tylophora neglecta discovered from the Western Ghats
- Two new plant species belonging to the Asclepiadaceae or milkweed family have been discovered by a team of researchers from the shola forests of the Western Ghats.
- Latex in plant parts and pappus seeds are the general characteristics of the family
in the Nilgiri biosphere reserve.
- It is a vine discovered from the Thollayiram shola in Wayanad, a biodiversity hotspot
- Flowers of the plant are reddish-pink and the species is similar to the coastal plant Tylophora flexuosa. However, it differs in the arrangement and morphology of its floral parts
- The species has been christened after V. Balakrishnan, member-secretary, Kerala State Biodiversity Board, and former director of the MSSRF, Wayanad, in recognition of his contributions to biodiversity.
Asclepiadaceae- Milkweed family
- The plant has been discovered from the shola forest on the Thooval Mala hill under the Achencoil forest division in Kollam.
- The flowers of the new species are white with a violet tinge.
- Its leaves are thick and bristly in nature.
Distribution of Asclepiadaceae:
- Plants of Asclepiadaceae family are annual and perennial herbs, shrubs, and vines with milky sap, simple, usually opposite leaves, flowers with 5 petal-like and fruit in the form of dry seed pods filled with numerous seeds. The seeds have tufts of silky hair.
Economic Importance of Asclepiadaceae
- The family Asclepiadaceae has about 320 genera and 2,000 species of worldwide distribution but is mostly confined to the tropics and sub-tropics.
- In India 332 species belonging to 35 genera are found, mostly in the Himalayas, southern and western India.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/western-ghats-gives-a-glimpse-of-its-biodiversity/article29443468.ece http://www.biologydiscussion.com/angiosperm/dicotyledons/asclepiadaceae-characters-distribution-and-types/48282 Read More Articles: Scientists decode genome of ‘miracle plant’ Where To Plant A Trillion Trees To Save Planet Earth?
- Ornamental- The family Asclepiadaceae contributes several ornamental as well as drug yielding plants.
- Cloth material- Hairs obtained from the seeds of several species are used as an insulating material for lining jackets and other winter wear.
- Medicine- The roots of Tylophora indica are used as a medicine for the treatment of respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough.
- Insecticide- The plant Cynanchum arnotianum is used as an insecticide.
- Blood purifier- The dried roots of Hemidesmus indices are used as a blood purifier. It is used in chronic rheumatism, urinary diseases and also in skin diseases.
- Medicine- Gymnema Sylvestre is used as a stomachic, stimulant, laxative and diuretic. It is also useful in cough, biliousness, and sore eyes.
- Latex- The latex of Calotropis gigantean and Calotropis Procera is used in the tanning industry for deodorizing, removing hair and imparting a yellow color to the hides.
- Rubber- Cryptostegia Grandiflora is a natural source of rubber in India.
- Fibre obtained from the stems of Asclepias curassavica, Tylophora tenius, Leptadenia pyrotechnica, Marsdenia roylei, Calotropis gigantica, and Cosmostigma racemosa is used as cordage, fishing nets, and twines.
- Poison- Some species of Asclepias are important as live-stock poison. The sap of Matelea has been used as an arrow poison.