Cryptocaria mutuvariana: A new tree species named after a tribe


A group of scientists have discovered a new plant species in the forest area of ​​Idamalakkudi Colony, where the Muthuvar tribal community in Idukki lives.

Important Current Affairs Points

  • Scientists from the University of Kerala and the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) have identified the plant.
  • The new plant is named ‘Cryptocaria mutuvariana’ after the Muthuvar tribe.
  • The Muthuvar tribal community plays a major role in the conservation of the forest.
  • This is the first time any plant species has been named after a local tribal community in the state.

Cryptocarya Muthuvariana

The genus Cryptocaria belongs to the genus Cryptocaria. Trees up to 10 m tall. It is characterized by very narrow leaves.

Muthuvar tribal community

The Muthuvan people were loyal subjects of the Madurai dynasty. When this dynasty was overthrown, the remaining members of the royal family migrated to Travancore, Kerala. During the migration, they carried the idols of Madhura Meenakshi, the goddess of the royal family. The word ‘Muthuvar’ is used to refer to the same community in Tamil Nadu. The Muthuvan people are the ancient tribes of this land. This community is independent and reluctant to interact with others. They grow ragi, lemon grass and cardamom.

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