Major R & D programmes and achievements
- Systematics and vegetation analysis of Sabarimala, Idukki, Athirappally, Pamba catchment area and Puyankutty were completed.
- 20 New flowering plants were discovered
- 18 species rediscovered after their first discovery.
- 16 new records: 2 for India; 3 for Southern India and 11 for Kerala
- 60 RET species and over 200 endemic plants of Western Ghats were collected.
- Over 10,000 herbarium specimens were studied and determined nomenclature identity
- Flora of Lakshadweep islands comprising 152 species under 133 genera had been successfully completed.
Botanical Studies of Thriveni MPCA
The study resulted in identification of 325 species of flowering plants of which 46% are known medicinal plants.
Studies on Balsams
Survey, inventory and collection of horticulturally promising wild balsams of Western Ghats of Kerala State were successfully completed. Collection includes 70 wild species and 22 cultivars. Phenology and reproductive biology were studied and propagation techniques of important balsams were standardized.
Ecological study of RET species
The ecological dynamics of 5 known RET species – Gluta travancorica, Ochreinauclea missionis, Goniothalamus rhyncantherus, Goniothalamus wightii and Popowia beddomeana were studied to understand the causes of their rarity in their natural habitats. Vegetative propagation methods were also standardized to raise clonal population for reintroduction programme. Restoration programme on Gluta and Ochreinauclea met with 85% success in establishment of saplings in wilderness.
Documentation and Evaluation of Wild vegetable / pulse resources
Identified 145 species of potential wild/lesser known vegetables and pulses among a total collection of 227 species. They include 36 pulses, 23 tubers, 24 leafy vegetable and 62 miscellaneous ones. Taxonomic identities of all these species have been established and their germplasm have been conserved in the seed bank and field gene bank of the Institute.
Ethnobotanical Studies of North Kerala
The study mainly concentrates on the Ethnobotanical wisdom of tribals dwelling in the parts of North Kerala. Identified 260 species of medicinal plants used as single drug and 72 species in compound drugs.
Eco-taxonomic analysis of the plants of River Chittar was taken up to assess ecological well being of the system. The study visualized both physical and biological environment associated with river system. The plant wealth of river system fell under 5 divisions, 50 families, 76 genera and 84 species with the maximum number of species belonged to Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Scrophulariaceae and Combretaceae.
Rescue and Restoration of RET Medicinal plants
Population structure, dynamics, environmental effects, growth performance, conservation strategies etc. are being carried out with respect to a set of RET medicinal plants growing in Agasthyamalai, Kulamavu, Wayanad MPCAs in Kerala to assess extinction risks in natural habitats. The candidate species are Coscinium fenestratum, Canarium strictum, Dysoxylum malabaricum, Embelia ribes, Garcinia morella, Knema attenuata, Ochreinauclea missionis, Persea macrantha, Piper barberi, Piper mullesua, Piper longum, Trichopus zeylanicus subsp. travancoricus and Vateria indica. Package of practices for vegetative multiplication for ten of these species have been developed.
Biosphere Reserve programme
Designated as Lead / Co-ordinating centre for Nilgiri and Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserves.
Quantification, Assessment and Mapping of NWFPs in Southern Kerala
The study involves assessment, mapping and quantification of growing stocks of NWFPs of Southern Kerala. Quantification of 73 NWFPs per hectare level were completed for 3 range forests and 2 wild life sanctuaries of Trivandrum Forest district.
Contribution to Herbarium Development and Management
A well maintained herbarium(TBGT) with historic collections of Rama Rao, Vencoba Rao, Bourdillon and others forming the nucleus is widely consulted by researchers and students. The herbarium currently holds 17300 specimens.