Cooper's Stone found in Tawang, first in India

Cooper's Stone found in Tawang, first in India

Cooper's Stone

Cooper's Stone, a flower species, which was hitherto found only in Bhutan has been discovered recently in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, for the first time in India.

A group of five researchers found the flower species in Zemithang valley in Tawang district during their floristic and ecological study.

Vikash Kumar, Samiran Pandey, Sudhansu Sekhar Dash, Bipin Kumar Singh and Paramjit Singh collected the flower species during their field visit in July 2017 as part of the study titled Biodiversity Assessment through Long Term Monitoring Plots in Indian Himalayan Landscape.

"Upon critical analysis and scrutiny of authentic literature and study of herbarium material form from Botanical Survey of India, Arunachal Pradesh Regional Centre, Itanagar; Botanical Survey of India, Eastern Region, Shillong; Central National Herbarium, Howrah, West Bengal and Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh, identity of the flower species was confirmed as Corallodiscus cooperi or Cooper's Stone, hitherto not reported in India. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the species is listed under the vulnerable category and was previously only reported from Bhutan. Therefore, collection of this species from Zemithang establishes its extended distribution and occurance in India," the researchers said in a paper published in the recent issue of Journal of Threatened Taxa.

The purpilish white flower blooms between August-September and grows on slopes and in rocky crevices. It was found on moss-covered boulders at an altitude of 1,900 to 2,000 meter.

"The floral parts were dissected and observed under the light microsope for detailed macro and micromorphology," the paper said.

The researchers are associated with Central National Herbarium, Botanical Survey of India, Howrah (West Bengal) and Botanical Survey of India, Salt Lake, Kolkata.