Endangered African violet plant discovered in Mizoram.

26 May 2021.


A new species of plant, called African violet, was discovered by Indian Institute of Science education and research (IISER), Bhopal.


  • African violet is found in parts of Mizoram and adjoining areas in Myanmar.
  • This discovery has given a platform for northeast in biodiversity which is still understudied and undiscovered.
  • Discovery was done under Tropical Ecology and Evolution Lab, a unit of IISER.
  • The new species Didymocarpus Vickfunkiae has been described by IISER Bhopal.
  • This species is found in only three locations currently in Mizoram.
  • They are considered as an endangered species.

About African violet plants

  • They are the flowering plants in genus Saintpaulia of family Gesneriaceae.
  • These plants are native to higher elevations in tropical eastern Africa.
  • They are widely grown horticulturally and are characterised by small perennial herbs having thick, hairy, ovate leaves.
  •  Leaves are dark green and have long stems.
  • These plants are bilaterally symmetric comprising of five petals.
  • They can be white, violet or pink in colour.
  • Genus Saintpaulia was named to honour Walter, Freiherr (baron) von Saint Paul-Illaire who was a German colonial official and discovered the genus in 1892 in German East Africa (now Tanzania).

About IISER Bhopal

  • It was established by Ministry of Human Resource & Development (now, Ministry of Education) in 2008.
  • Institute has been ranked 26 in Times Higher Education 2021 Rankings.

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