Rare Kayampoo Flower Rediscovered in Kerala's Pooyamkutty Forest

The Kayampoo flower, thought to be a myth, has been rediscovered in Kerala's Pooyamkutty forest after being immortalized in a 1969 Malayalam film. The rare flower, scientifically known as Memecylon umbellatum, was found near an ancient temple at an altitude of 1,200 meters.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Rare Kayampoo Flower Rediscovered in Kerala's Pooyamkutty Forest

Rare Kayampoo Flower Rediscovered in Kerala's Pooyamkutty Forest

The elusive Kayampoo flower, immortalized in the 1969 Malayalam film "Nadhi" and thought to be a poet's imagination, has been rediscovered blooming in the Pooyamkutty forest of Kerala's Ernakulam district. The rare flower, scientifically known as Memecylon umbellatum, was found near the ancient Knachary temple at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level.

Why this matters: The rediscovery of the Kayampoo flower highlights the importance of preserving biodiversity hotspots, as they hold the key to unlocking new medicinal properties and treatments. Moreover, it underscores the need for sustained conservation efforts to protect endangered plant species and their habitats.

The Kayampoo plant is known for its sturdy stems, which were historically used by tribal communities to weave baskets for carrying forest produce. The flowers, which bloom only once a year, slowly fade from their original color to white before falling off the plant.

Beyond its cultural significance, the Kayampoo plant is believed to possess medicinal properties. Traditional practitioners use various parts of the plant, including its leaves, flowers, stems, and roots, to treat a range of ailments such as eye problems, gonorrhea, leucorrhea, cough, herpes, and wounds. The plant is also known to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antidiabetic properties.

"Pooyamkutty forest has long been a favorite destination of tourists," says Bineesh Narayanan, ward member of Pinavorkudy. "The flowers have bloomed adjacent to a stream along the path leading to the Knachary temple. In the past, the sturdy stems of the plant were used by the tribals to weave baskets to hold forest produce."

The Kayampoo plant is also known by various other names, such as Anjan, Alli, and Kaya, according to local resident Sasikumar. Despite its cultural and medicinal importance, the plant faces the threat of extinction, making its rediscovery all the more significant.

The rediscovery of the Kayampoo flower in the Pooyamkutty forest serves as a reminder of the rich biodiversity that exists in Kerala's natural habitats. As efforts continue to protect and preserve these ecosystems, the blooming of this rare flower offers a glimmer of hope for the conservation of endangered plant species.

Key Takeaways

  • Kayampoo flower, thought to be fictional, rediscovered in Kerala's Pooyamkutty forest.
  • The rare flower, scientifically known as Memecylon umbellatum, blooms only once a year.
  • Kayampoo plant has medicinal properties, used to treat various ailments, and has antioxidant properties.
  • The plant's stems were historically used by tribal communities to weave baskets.
  • The rediscovery highlights the importance of preserving biodiversity hotspots and conservation efforts.