JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:: 23/06/2014

Flora-Kerala

 

Status of Flora

          The floral diversity of Kerala can be categorized into three (i)Wild and Indigenous, (ii) Indigenous and Cultivated  (iii) Exotic, yet cultivated or wild. 

          Wild and indigenous floral elements are found in natural forests and other natural ecosystems. They offer a variety of products and services to mankind, including medicines and non wood forest produces. The natural forests are also rich in different types of traditionally used wood items.

            Indigenous and cultivated plant varieties were once common in our agricultural fields and homesteads. These areas were also rich with a variety of indigenous rice, coconut, areca nut, pepper, ginger, turmeric, tapioca, plantains etc.In the last few decades many of these varieties have been neglected or ignored with the introduction of high-yielding hybrid varieties. In addition to this weeds and pests introduced into the state along with exotic crops replaced many indigenous varieties. Thus, the agribiodivesity in the state has become a mixture of both indigenous and exotic species. 

            Flora of Kerala comprises of a total of 11,840 taxa of plants (SoE,2007). Among them, angiosperms comprises the dominant group, composed of 4968 taxa, of which about 900 are those endemic to Western Ghats. Among the Western Ghats endemics, 252 taxa are those confined to Kerala State.The flora comprises of 866 species of algae, 4800 species of fungi, 520 species of lichens, 350 species of bryophytes, 332 species of pteridophytes, 4 species of gymnosperms and 4968 species of angiosperms or flowering plants. Habitat wise, algal species are mostly confined to aquatic or damp conditions whereas the other plant groups in the State ate mostly terrestrial in habit. Forest areas being well protected. Habit or life form-wise, there are herbs, shrubs, trees, lianas, epiphytes, lithophytes, saprophytes, etc. within the plant kingdom. Based on this the habitats are also different for different species. Table gives the details of the representation of different plant groups in the flora of Kerala. Apart from this there are hundreds of cultivated species either on plantations or crop levels or as garden plants, ornamentals, etc. There are also 850 species and varieties of cultivars growing the State with their origin in mostly tropical parts of the globe. Due to various reasons, many of them are in various threat categories of IUCN Red List of flora and fauna (2004), prepared at global level. 

 

Table: Total Number of Plant Taxa Belonging to Different Groups Recorded from Kerala.

 

 

Sl.No

Plant Groups

No. of Taxa 

1

Algae

866

2

Fungi

4800

3

Lichens

520

4

Bryophytes

350

5

Pteridophytes

332

6

Gymnosperms

4

7

Angiosperms   

4968

 

Total

11,840

 

 

Source:SoE 2007