'Argyreia sharadchandrajii': New plant species named after Sharad Pawar
A new species of flowering plants, recently discovered in south Maharashtra's Kolhapur district, has been named after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar as "his immense contribution to Indian agriculture" as a Union minister, a report has said. Researchers Dr Pramod R Lawand and Dr Vinod B Shimpale told news agency PTI that the species, belonging to the genus Argyreia, has been named 'Argyreia sharadchandrajii'. The new species was found in the Alamprabhu Dev-raai (sacred grove), said Lawand and Shimpale, who teach botany at a college in Kolhapur.
Their research paper ‘Argyreia sharadchandrajii (Convolvulaceae): A new species from the Western Ghats, India' was recently published in the Journal of the Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy.
Shimpale said around 40 sub-species of the Argyreia genus are found in India. "These species are found in only Asiatic countries. Of 40, 17 are endemic to India and now we have discovered an 18th one in the Alamprabhu Sacred Grove in Ramling hills," he said, according to PTI.
The plant flowers between July and September and the fruiting period lasts till December. "It grows in open habitats and trails on grassland but remains rooted near other shrubs," Shimpale said.
Shimpale said a few years ago Pawar helped him financially for publishing his research on the flora in Baramati—the NCP chief's political bastion—in the form of a book when he was asked why the plant was after the veteran leader. Shimpale added that another reason for naming the plant after Pawar was "his immense contribution to Indian agriculture" as a Union minister.
Kolhapur district is in the Western Ghats ecological zone, which is known for its rich biodiversity.
(With PTI inputs)