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.