Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 August 2016 | 8(9): 9216–9220





Two additions to the flora of the Palni Hills, southern India


S. Soosairaj 1, P. Raja 2, B. Balaguru 3 & T. Dons 4


1,2,4 Department of Botany, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Tiruchchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620002, India

3 Department of Botany, Jamal Mohamed College (Autonomous), Tiruchchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620020, India

1 (corresponding author), 2, 3, 4





Editor: K. Ravikumar, FRLHT, Bengaluru, India. Date of publication: 26 August 2016 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # 2349 | Received 02 October 2015 | Final received 11 June 2016 | Finally accepted 20 July 2016


Citation: S. Soosairaj, P. Raja, B. Balaguru & T. Dons (2016). Two additions to the flora of the Palni Hills, southern India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(9): 92169220;


Copyright: © Soosairaj et al. 2016. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: TBGP, Tamil Nadu Forest Department.


Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to the office of PCCF & Chief Project Director, Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Greening Project (TBGP), District forest officer and rangers of the Dindigul Forest Division; we are also thankful to the Head Office, Botanical Survey of India, Southern circle, Coimbatore for providing facilities and support.






During a botanical exploration (2013–2015) of the Palni Hills of the Western Ghats (Fig. 1), Tamil Nadu the authors collected two rare plant specimens, which after a critical study and perusal of published literature (Hooker 1874; Gamble 1957; Dassanayake 1991; Srivastava 1997) were identified as Hiptage parvifolia Wight & Arn. (Malpighiaceae) and Kalanchoe olivacea Dalz. & Gibs. (Crassulaceae) that have not been reported earlier from Palni region (Fyson 1932; Gamble 1957; Nair & Henry 1983; Matthew 1999). Hence, our collections form new distributional records for the Palni Hills. A brief description, distribution, photographs and detailed illustrations are provided for their easy identification.







Hiptage parvifolia

Wight & Arn. Prodr. 107. 1834; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 419. 1874; Srivastava, Flora of India 4: 24. 1997 (Image 1 a,b & 2; Fig. 2).

Climbing shrub, up to 3m; branches and shoots elongate. Leaves ovate oblong, 6–8 × 2.5–3.5 cm, coriaceous, glabrous, base acute, margin entire, apex acuminate; petioles ca. 7mm long, glabrescent. Racemes axillary, 6–7 cm long, appressed pubescent; peduncles 0.5–2 cm; bracts ca. 1.5mm; bracteoles minute; pedicels ca. 2cm long, articulate at about 0.8cm below calyx. Flowers ca. 1cm across. Calyx lobes ovate obtuse, 2.5–4 × 2.5–3 mm, persistent, outer pubescent, inner glabrous; glands ovoid, ca. 3mm long. Petals 5, white, one with yellow blotch, orbicular, 7–8 × 7–8 mm, outer surface pubescent, clawed, fringed at margins. Stamens 10, declinate, unequal; longer ones to 7mm; others 5mm; filaments connate at base; anthers ovoid, ca. 1mm long. Ovary 3 lobed, 3-celled; ovule 1 per cell; Style 1–1.5 cm long; stigma capitate. Samaras light brown; median wing obovate, rounded at apex, 2–2.5 × 0.8–1 cm; lateral wings elliptic, 1–1.5 × 4.5 mm.

Specimens examined: 2058 (SJCBOT), 20.iii.2015, on the way to Kukkal Shola from Kuthiraiyar Dam, Tamil Nadu, India, 10022’11.48”N & 77022’13.18”E at 525m, coll. S. Soosairaj & P. Raja (Image 2).

Flowering & Fruiting: February–May

Habitat & Ecology: Species is located along the stream and are associated with Alphonsea sclerocarpa Thwaites, Putranjiva roxburghii Wall. and Commiphora caudata (Wight & Arn.) Engl.

Distribution: India (Meghalaya, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala), Sri Lanka and Timor.

Notes: The genus Hiptage Gaertner is represented by about 30 species distributed in western China, Subtropical Asia, Taiwan, Malay and the Pacific islands. In India, Srivastava (1997) has reported nine species of Hiptage of which five are endemic to India. In Tamil Nadu, Gamble (1957) recorded it from the southern Western Ghats of Tirunelveli District. In the present study, only two individuals were located.

IUCN status: Not evaluated






Kalanchoe olivacea

Dalzell & Gibs. Bombay Fl. 313.1861; Fischer in Rec. Bot. Surv. India 9: 78. 1921; Gamble Fl. Pres. Madras 1: 319. 1957 (repr. ed.). (Image 1c & 3; Fig. 3)

Semi succulent erect herb, up to 30cm. Leaves decussate, obovate, sessile, 8–11 × 3–6 cm, thick coriaceous, greenish-red, glabrous, base narrowed, margins crenate, apex obtuse, glabrous, red-dotted. Cymes dense, corymbose, ca. 4cm, terminal; bracts foliar; bracteoles linear, 5–7 mm; peduncles, 2–3 cm, many flowered, glandular hairs; pedicels ca. 1.2 cm. Calyx tube lobed to the base; lobes 4, lanceolate ca. 7mm, glandular pubescent, acuminate. Corolla white, flask-shaped; petals 4 lobed, connate, lobes ca. 7mm, ovate - lanceolate, apiculate, tube ca. 11×3 mm, inner glabrous, outer glandular pubescent. Stamens 4+4, inserted above the swollen base of corolla, 8–1.2 mm, anther ca. 1mm, apiculate. Pistils ca. 1cm; carpels 4, free, surrounded by 4 linear hypogynous scales ca 3.3mm long, 2 fid at apex styles 4, stout; stigmas oblique. Follicles ca. 8×3.5 mm, glabrous.

Specimens examined: 2030 (SJCBOT), Thonimalai, Kannivadi, Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu, India, 10021’48.92”N & 77044’16.83”E at 1,370m, 26.i.2015, coll. S. Soosairaj & P. Raja (Image 3).

Flowering & Fruiting: December and March

Distribution: India: Peninsular (Endemic to the Western Ghats); rare, among grassy slopes.

Habitat & Ecology: Dry grass land, barren slopes associated with Kalanchoe bhidei T. Cooke and Laggera alata Nanth.

Notes: Gamble (1957) reported this species from the Anamalai Hills of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Later, Sasidharan (1999, 2002) reported it from Palakad and Idukki districts of Kerala. The present collection forms a first report in the Palni Hills of Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu.

IUCN status: Not evaluated











Dassanayake, M.D. (1991). A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon - Volume VII. Oxford & IBH Puplishing Co. PVT. LTD, New Delhi, 393–396pp.

Fyson, P.F. (1932). The Flora of the South Indian Hill Stations - Volume 1–2. Superintendent Government Press, Madras.

Gamble, J.S. (1957). Flora of the Presidency of Madras. Reprint Edition. Vol. 1. Calcutta, 91pp.

Hooker, J.D. (1874). The Flora of British India. Vol. 1. L. Reeve & Co., London, 419pp.

Matthew K.M. (1999). The Flora of the Palni Hills, South India. Part 1-3. The Rapinat Herbarium, St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchchirappalli.

Nair, N.C. & A.N. Henry (1983). Flora of the Tamil Nadu, India series I: Analysis. Botanical Survey of India, Southern Circle, Coimbatore, 48pp.

Sasidharan, N. (1999). Study on the flora of Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. KFRI Research Report No. 167. Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Thrissur.

Sasidharan, N. (2002). Floristic studies in Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. KFRI Research Report No. 246. Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Thrissur.

Srivastava, R.C. (1997). Malpighiaceae, pp. 1–38. In: Hajra P.K., V.J. Nair & P. Daniel (eds.). Flora of India. Malpighiaceae - Dichapetalaceae. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.