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Impatiens karuppusamyi

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Impatiens karuppusamyi is a newly discovered plant species, identified on December 8, 2023, in the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India. It was discovered by researchers from the Botanical Survey of India and Madras Christian College, Chennai, and named in honor of Dr. S Karuppusamy for his significant contributions to the taxonomy of South Indian angiosperms. The plant resembles Impatiens Bicornis but is distinguished by its small leaves, 6-8 flowered short scapes, and small flowers with unique characteristics like a conical spur, purplish auriculate projections, biseriate purplish-blue hairs, and orange-pinkish pollen grains. It grows as a lithophytic tuberous scapigerous herb, primarily amongst mosses and Selaginella sp., on wet rocky slopes at elevations between 1200–1500 meters above sea level, and is currently found only in the Agasthyamalai hill ranges within the protected area of the tiger reserve. The discovery highlights the rich biodiversity of the region and raises concerns about the potential risks of climate change on such limitedly distributed species.

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