In the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, the Hapoli divisional forest office and some Researchers working in Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Itanagar regional centre recently discovered ‘Selaginella bryopteris’, the resurrecting herb or sanjeevani.
Words by Abhinav Kumar
On Saturday,Abhinav Kumar, The Hapoli Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) on Twitter said “The species has been found near Kee River in Pistana circle of Lower Subansiri district.”
He was a part of the survey team of researchers where Ashish K Soni and Vineet K Rawant were the leaders from the Itanagar regional centre of the BSI. ‘Selaginella bryopteris’ was a discovery by them in the Pistana circle while the survey was going on. Earlier this year they have also collected Pteridophytes which are known as vascular plants from the forests located invTale Wildlife Sanctuary and Lower Subansiri district.
Identification of the plants
The plants were also identified according to the book ‘Selaginellaceae of India’ by R D Dixit. Soni came across a healthy population of Selaginella During the survey. It was said that in the dry season the plant’s body coils and forms a ball-like structure and after the atmospheric humidity is restored, the plants uncoil to become green again.
For the first time in the fern allies of the state the ‘Selaginella bryopteris’ has been recorded, confirmed Further research and identification.
23 more species of the Selaginella reported
The journal published in the East Himalayan Society which was for Spermatophyte Taxonomy said, around 23 more species of the Selaginella have been reported in the state but discovery of the ‘Selaginella bryopteris’ was first happened in the hilly state.
Medical qualities of the plant
The ‘Selaginella bryopteris’ is popular for its medical qualities. It is also one of the plants that is known for being a candidate to be the sanjeevani that was mentioned in the Ramayana, a major Sanskrit epic of ancient India.
“Selaginella contains a variety of secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, phenol and terpenoids, etc., and has been used traditionally to treat wounds, irregular menstruation, uterine disorders and other internal injuries. Some also use it as a tonic to improve fitness and expand their life span” said reports.