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About Neelakurinji

Context:

As visitors keep pouring in to witness the blooming of neelakurinji on a vast area on the Kallippara hills at Santhanpara in Idukki, Kerala, an expert team has identified six varieties of the plant across the region.

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Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Neelakurinji
  2. Threats

About Neelakurinji

  • In the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India, you can find the shrub known as Kurinji or Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthianus).
  • The name Nilgiri Hills, which means “blue mountains” in Sanskrit, derives from the lilac-blue blooms of Neelakurinji, which bloom only once every twelve years.
  • With documented bloomings in 1838, 1850, 1862, 1874, 1886, 1898, 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018, it is the most rigorously demonstrated.
  • Once every seven years, certain Kurinji flowers blossom before passing away. Then, their seeds germinate, continuing the cycle of life and death.
  • It served as a guide for the tribal Paliyan people of Tamil Nadu when figuring out their ages.
Threats
  • About 1,000 ha of forestland, grantis and eucalyptus plantations and grasslands have been destroyed in the fire.
  • These large-scale wildfires on the grasslands where Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiiana) blossomed widely last year after a period of 12 years could have wiped out all the seeds of the endemic flowers.
  • There are allegations that the areas coming under the proposed Kurinji sanctuary were set on fire with a motive to destroy the germination of Neelakurinji seeds.

-Source: The Hindu


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