Neelakurinji Plant : Listed As a Protected Species
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.
- This move is aimed at protecting the plant from being destroyed or uprooted, which has become a major threat to the flowering areas. The new order also includes strict penalties for those found guilty of destroying or uprooting the plant.
- Neelakurinji is an endemic plant found in a small stretch in the Western Ghats, from the Mangaladevi hills to the Nilgiris hills.
- The most popular Neelakurinji is Strobilanthes kunthiana which blooms once in 12 years.
- However, some other rare varieties of Neelakurnji are also found in the Western Ghats region.