Two new Ginger species found in the northeast

Scientists have discovered two new species of Ginger in easternmost districts, Ukhrul in Manipur and Tuensang in Nagaland, both bordering Myanmar. Both the plants are from the family of Zingiberaceae, to which the commonly found Ginger (Zingiber officinale) belongs.

Hedychium chingmeianum, the species discovered in Tuensang district, is an epiphytic plant and grows on tall trees, while Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis was found growing in rock crevices, boulders and humus rich soil in the Shirui Hills, where the highest peak stands at an elevation of 2,938 metres.

Two Botanical Survey of India (BSI) scientists, Nripemo Odyou and Dilip Kumar Roy, found the plant Hedychium chingmeianum, growing on tree trunks at Chingmei village in Tuensang district. The plant, with reddish stems and creamy white flowers, was brought to the regional centre of BSI, Shillong, and cultivated there.

The species Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis was discovered by Biseshwori Thongam and Bipin Konsam of the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development. The species has beautiful oval-shaped pink flowers which appear in June-July. It was during a trip to Ukhrul hills that Dinabandhu Sahoo, director of the IBSD, spotted this species. The scientists named the species after Mr. Dinabandhu Sahoo.

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