Pinanga andamanensis

  • Recently, a rare palm, Pinanga andamanensis, has been successfully cultivated at Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI), Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala).
  • Pinanga andamanensis is a rare palm endemic to South Andaman Island.
  • Its entire population of some 600 specimens naturally occurs only in a tiny, evergreen forest pocket in South Andaman’s Mount Harriet National Park.
  • Endemic species are those plants and animals that exist only in one geographical region.
  • The name is derived from ‘Penang’, the modern-day Malaysian state.
  • Penang itself has its origins in Pulau Pinang which means Island of the Areca Nut Palm.
  • It has strong resemblance with the areca palm tree (widely used for bright interiors).
  • It has a small gene pool which means the species is vulnerable to natural calamities such as cyclones, earthquakes.
  • JNTBGRI scientists term it a critically endangered species and one of the least known among the endemic palms of the Andaman Islands.
  • JNTBGRI will resume seed germination experiments for mass multiplication as part of the conservation strategy.
Pinanga andamanensis

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