Meteoromyrtus wynaadensis: a critically endangered species bloomed at MSSBG
Meteoromyrtus wynaadensis (Bedd.) Gamble, is an understory tree belongs to the family of guava, Myrtaceae. Richard Henry Beddome reported this species from the evergreen forest of south east Wayanad in 1868, i.e., the current Nilgiri-Wayanad region. As the species name indicates, it has been found merely in the region of Nilgiri – Wayanad and considered as narrow endemic. This tree has categorized as critically endangered by IUCN
(https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/31195/9607544) and distributed in an altitude of 600-1200 m ASL. The key characters of the plant comprises young parts and inflorescence fulvous when young, leaves simple, opposite, exstipulate; lamina elliptic, elliptic-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, Flowers white, small, axillary or supra axillary; pedicel villous; petals 4, suborbicular, stamens many, inserted in a ring around the disc. Berry yellowish green. Usually it flowers during February-August, but plants conserved at MSSBG conservatory shows early flowering from December onwards. MSSBG researchers monitor the flowering, fruiting and development of this endemic plant to study the phonological changes happening to the endemic plants in related with climate change.
Information and Photography: Mr. Nandakumar M K; Review and Editing: Dr. Smitha S. Thankappan; Final approval: Dr. N Anil Kumar