Experts have attributed the plant’s altering pollination cycle to the drastic change in temperature and natural calamities.

TNs state flower Karthigaipoo also known as Flame Lily now endangered in KarnatakaEtsy
news Environment Monday, March 04, 2019 - 15:13

Flame Lily or Karthigaipoo, Tamil Nadu’s state flower, has entered the endangered list in Karnataka, thanks to the climate change. The Karnataka State Action Plan on Climate Change identified and classified this ornamental plant as the most threatened and endangered species in the state. The Action Plan was prepared by the Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute and the Energy and Resources Institute.  

Scientifically known as Gloriosa superba, Flame Lily is found in tropical areas and is known for its bright flowers. The plant is a perennial but perennating climber, which means, it emerges only during the rainy season from the resting underground rhizomes and the aerial parts dry soon after setting seeds. It has fleshy, traditional plough-shaped rhizomes. 

The plant grows from an underground tuber, which is able to survive the dry season. The creeping stems, however, die off completely after fruiting. It has flame-like petals. The flowers are axillary, solitary or clustered, about 10 cm across. The stalks are 6-12 cm long, with six flower-lobes. The leaves narrow towards the apex, with its margins prominently wavy.

“The frequent change in temperature affects the flowering cycle of plants, which in turn affects their pollination,” Ritu Kakkar, IFS Director General, EMPRI, told Deccan Herald.

Experts have attributed the plant’s altering pollination cycle to the drastic change in temperature and natural calamities. Farmers in Karnataka are also not inclined to grow the plant as it is slow to propagate. It only produces one offspring in a year.

But the plant is considered a money spinner in Tamil Nadu. It has been ranked first in the list of commercially cultivated medicinal plants for more than 25 years in Tamil Nadu, says a The New Indian Express report. For this reason, it is fondly known as ‘money spinner ‘ among the farmers in the state, the report says.

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