Muraina Grasses

Ischaemum is a group of plants in the family of grasses, many species of which are known commonly as Muraina grasses.

Key Points

  • They are widespread in tropical and semitropical regions in many countries.
  • As of now, 85 species are known from Ischaemum, out of which 61 species are exclusively found in India.
  • In India, the Western Ghats has 40 species of the Murainagrasses. The region has the highest concentration of species in the country.

New Species of Muraingrasses Identified

  • Recently, a new species of Indian Murain grasses has been spotted by scientists in Goa in the Western Ghats.
  • This new species is named Ischaemum janarthanamiifrom, it was able to survive harsh conditions. It is said to have been blossoming every monsoon.
  • Pune’s Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) has been exploring the Western Ghats for a very long time and a team of researchers found the new species.
  • The researchers first collected the species in the year 2017 and then kept the population under observation for 2 years.
  • The novelty of the species was confirmed using molecular and morphological data.
  • The species was exposed to extreme conditions like complete dryness in the dry months and low availability of nutrients in the soil. The species was able to withstand harsh climatic conditions.

The name of the new species of Muraingrasses has been given to after Goa University’s Botany Professory M. K. Janarthanam in order to recognize his contribution to Indian grass taxonomy and documentation of the floristic diversity of Goa state. This research paper related to the new species of Muraingrasses was published in a Finland based journal called Annales BotaniciFennici.

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