Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 360

Full Length Research Paper

Floristic diversity of Vallikkaattu Kaavu, a sacred grove of Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Sreeja K.
  • Sreeja K.
  • Government Ganapath Model Girls Higher Secondary School, Chalappuram, Kozhikode 673 002, Kerala, India.
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Unni P. N.
  • Unni P. N.
  • Sadasivam’, Nattika P. O., Thrissur 680 566, Kerala, India.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 13 June 2016
  •  Accepted: 16 August 2016
  •  Published: 31 October 2016

Abstract

Flora of Vallikkaattu Kaavu, a sacred grove of Kozhikode District, Kerala, India with their botanical name, family, conservation status, endemic status, medicinal status and habit has been presented in detail. This sacred grove associated with the Sree Vana Durga Bhagavathi Temple located 20 km north of Kozhikode at Edakkara in Thalakkalathur Panchayat, is the largest sacred grove in Kozhikode District with an extent of 6.5 ha. Floristic studies of this sacred grove recorded 245 flowering species belonging to 209 genera and 77 families. Among the 245 species, 75 are herbs, 71 are trees, 55 are shrubs and 44 are climbers. Out of the 245, 44 are endemics - 16 endemic to Southern Western Ghats, 3 endemic to Southern Western Ghats (Kerala), 13 endemic to Western Ghats, 9 endemic to Peninsular, India, 2 endemic to India and 1 endemic to South India (Kerala).  Thirty four threatened plants were reported, out of which 3 are Critically Endangered, 5 are Endangered, 4 are Near Threatened, 1 is at Low Risk and Near Threatened, 16 are Vulnerable and 3 are with Data-Deficient status. Species with Not Evaluated status and Least Concern status were also listed. Endemic plants like Sonerila rheedei, Litsea ghatica, Lagenandra meeboldii and Ischaemum tumidum var. calicutensis, threatened and endemic plants like Anaphyllum wightii and Kunstleria keralensis and Acorus calamus with endangered status were recorded. Myristica swamps having dense prominent stilt and breathing roots represented mainly by Gymnacranthera farquhariana and the endemic and threatened species, Myristica fatua var. magnifica and M. malabarica were also recorded from this sacred grove. Out of the 245 species listed, 236 are medicinal, constituting 96% of the total flowering plants reported from this sacred grove.

Key words: Endemic, threatened, critically endangered, vulnerable, Gymnacranthera farquhariana, Myristica fatua var. magnifica.