Ministry of Environment Included Neelakurinji on the List of Protected Plants

Current Affairs

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has listed Neelakurinji ( Strobilanthes kunthiana) under Schedule III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, including it on the list of protected plants.
  • According to the Environment Ministry, those who uproot or destroy the plant will be fined Rs 25,000 and imprisoned for three years.
  • Cultivation and possession of this plant is not allowed.
  • Neelakurinji has been included in the list after the Center expanded the earlier protected list of six plant species to 19.

About Neelakurinji Flower:-

  • Neelakurinji is a monocarpic plant. That is, once the flower comes, its plant dies. Then one has to wait for 12 years for the new seed to grow and flower.
  • It has also given the name Nilgiri to the mountains of this region because of their blue color.
  • Neelakurinji usually grows at an altitude of 1300 – 2400 meters and up to a height of 30 – 60 cm.
  • The most popular Neelakurinji is Strobilanthes kunthiana which blooms once in 12 years.
  • The blooming cycle was last observed in 2018 at Koviloor, Kadavari, Rajamala, and Eravikulam national parks in Munnar. It will be seen next time in 2030.
  • The flowers have a majestic violet-blue color. About 70 species of Kurinji are found in India.
  • In the year 2006, 32 square kilometers of Kerala forests were reserved for the protection of this flower.
  • It was named Kurinjimala Sanctuary. This is the second flower sanctuary in India after the Valley of Flowers. All the species of Neelakurinji are preserved here.

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