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Flowering Plants of Kerala
   
     
The CD contains brief write-ups on location and phytogeography of the state, geology and soil, climate, characteristic features and typical species of vegetation types, important agricultural and horticultural crops. The correct name of the species with author citation and literature is followed by basionyms and synonyms, if any. Reference to Flora of British India and Flora of the Presidency of Madras are cited along with relevant monographs and revisions. The CD also includes habit, habitat, status, geographical distribution, district wise distribution (map) and images of species.
   
   
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There are 4,801 taxa in the checklist including 619 exotics introduced as well as naturalised. They belong to 1,431 genera in 211 families. There are 940 taxa recorded from Kerala after the publication of the Flora of the Presidency of Madras, of which 327 new (species + subspecies/varieties) and 613 new record of occurrence. Four hundred and eighty-three taxa are belonging to the Red Listed Categories.  Nomenclature  changes of  1,259  species  in  the  Flora of the Presidency of Madras have been incorporated. There are about 5,150 photographs of 2,225 species belonging to endemic, red listed as well as interesting plants. There are 10,816 botanical names and 5,915 common/local names.
   
   
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Poaceae is the dominant family with 419 species under 119 genera followed by Leguminosae (406/98), Orchidaceae (260/81), Rubiaceae (239/57), Cyperaceae (206/21), Asteraceae (195/70), Acanthaceae (189/36), Euphorbiaceae (182/51),  Lamiaceae (114/20) and Balsaminaceae (81/2). The  dominant genera are Impatiens (80), Crotalaria (53), Fimbristylis (52), Cyperus (51), Strobilanthes (42), Ischaemum (40), Eriocaulon (37), Syzygium (34) and Ficus (34).

The dominant families with respect to endemic species are Rubiaceae (138), Poaceae (137), Orchidaceae (117), Fabaceae (Leguminosae) (90), Acanthaceae (88), Balsaminaceae (72), Asteraceae (60),  Euphorbiaceae (55), Melastomataceae (50) and Lauraceae (48). Arborescent families like Dipterocarpaceae, Lauraceae, Clusiaceae and Annonaceae exhibit a relatively higher per cent of endemism. Among the genera, Impatiens ranks first in the number of endemic species with 72 species followed by Strobilanthes (33), Ischaemum and Dimeria (25), Vernonia (23), Eriocaulon (22), Crotalaria, Syzygium and Sonerila (20).

There are 940 taxa recorded from Kerala after the publication of the Flora of the Presidency of Madras, of which 327 new (species+subspecies/varieties) and 613 new record of occurrence. Nomenclature changes for 1259 taxa in the Flora of Presidency of Madras have been incorporated. Among the 4795 taxa, 619 are exotics. Most of the important cultivated crops are exotics. Exotic species such as Chromolaena odorata, Lantana camara, Mikania micrantha, Adenophora ageratina, Hyptis capitata and Mimosa invisa have extensively invaded the degraded forest areas and wastelands. Many of these species are New World elements. Parthenium hysterophorus established mostly in the low rainfall areas. Eichhornia crassipes and Pistia stratiotes are now common in the water bodies and wetlands. Though, most of the exotics are menacing weeds, a few like Ipomoea mauritiana, Scoparia dulcis, Mimosa pudica, Spilanthes calva, Vitex negundo, Acorus calamus, Solanum americanum, Datura stramonium, etc. are medicinally important.

The district wise analysis based on the studies shows that Idukki is the most species rich district with 3083 taxa, though the district has no seacoast and backwaters. Alappuzha district has the largest number of aquatic species.  The district has no forests and the flora is dominated by grasses and sedges. The lowest number of flowering plants was recorded from Kasaragod. The number of species reported from other districts are Palakkad (2677), Trivandrum (2235), Kollam (2198), Malappuram (1801), Thrissur (1825), Kannur (1725), Pathanamthitta (1647), Kozhikkode (1563), Kottayam (1307)Alappuzha (1290)  and Kasaragode (1238). The recent studies on the flora of Protected Areas with relatively smaller extent of areas have resulted in the finding of more number of species than in the district floras. The Flora of Palakkad (Vajravelu, 1990) dealt with 1,355 species of flowering plants from the entire Palakkad district, whereas from Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary which has an area of 274 km2 (6 per cent area of the district), 1432 species were recorded (Sasidharan, 2002). The number of species recorded from the other Protected Areas are: Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary (1113), Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary (1432), Periyar Tiger Reserve (1978), Eravikulam National Park (326), Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (959), Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary (987) and Silent Valley National Park (1114).

   
   
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