Neelakurinji part of species that flowers once in 7 yrs

Neelakurinji belongs to species that flowers once in 7 years

The team that carried out the study at Mandalpatti in Kodagu district. Credit: DH photo

The Neelakurinji flowers that had covered the entire Mandalpatti and Kotebetta area belong to a species that flowers once in seven years, clarified botanists.

Botanist Dr Jomi Augastin and Parisara Samsthe president Eshwar Prasad, along with others, had carried out a study on Mandalpatti and Kotebetta.

The forest department officials had stated that Nilakurinji flower blossoms once in 12 years and had published the same on their website.

Now, botanists have clarified that the flower belongs to a species that blossoms once in seven years.

There are 70 varieties of Kurinji flowers. The one that flowered in Kodagu is Strobilanthes ciliatus. It is not Kunthiyana which blooms once in 12 years, said the experts.

Kunthiyana flower is bluish in colour, while the one that blooms once in seven years is purplish colour. The leaves are attached to the root, explained the experts.

The plants are widespread on the hilly ranges in Kodagu. Some of the plants are yet to flower. There is a need to conserve nature, said Eshwar Prasad.

The team also comprised of Chethana Badekar from Mangaluru, Biju from Kasargod and Unnikrishna from Kerala. 

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