08 Nov Neelakurinji
Details on the Topic “Neelakurinji”
Relevance for Prelims: Flora in news
Relevance for Mains: None
Context: Neerakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana), endemic to Western Ghats have bloomed in in kallipara Hills.
Pic: Neelakurinji Plant
- Neelakurinji, a shrub belonging to the Strobilanthes genus, is known for synchronous flowering once in one to 16 years. It is found in shola forests of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Some species of the shrub are also found in Goa.
- Since it has more than 45 species, the average blooming period of flowers varies from 8-15 years.
- Nilgiris Hills, which means blue mountains owe their name from purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji.
- The local tribal communities (Hakki-Pikki tribe) consider the shrub as goddess of forest. The Hakki-Pikkis are known for preparing oils for different ailments from forest produce.
- Kurinjimala Sanctuary of Kerala protects the kurinji in approximately 32 sqkm. Core habitat in Kootakamboor and vattavada villages in Idukki district.
- In Sangam literature of Tamil Nadu, the kurinji flowers stand for love. In Kannada literature, however, there is hardly any reference to the flower.
Pic: kurinji flower plant
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Source: The Hindu