Kerala, India 678 001

Department of Botany

Research at Botany


  1. Name of the Department:  PG and Research Department of Botany
  2. Thrust Areas of research: Plant Systematics, Phytochemistry, Mycology, Plant pathology, Molecular Biology
  3. Research Guides: Dr. Maya C. Nair., Dr. A R Rasmi., Dr. Suresh V., Dr. Leeja L


Research Supervisors in the department

Dr. Maya C. Nair

Associate Professor

Plant Systematics, Palynology and Biodiversity Conservation

Dr.  Rasmi A. R

Associate Professor

Phytochemistry, Mycology and Plant pathology

Dr. Suresh V.

Assistant professor

Plant systematics, Insect plant interactions, Evolution, Molecular biology

Dr. Leeja L.

Assistant Professor

Cytogenetics, Tissue culture, Molecular Biology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology

Research Scholars

Snehalatha V R

Designation: Research Scholar

Thesis title: Pharmacognostic characterization, phytochemical profiling and biological activities of selected species of Syzygium Gaertner (Myrtaceae) endemic to Western Ghats.

Year of Joining: 2017

Research Guide: Dr. Rasmi. A.R

Ashfak Ahammed O.

Designation: Research Scholar

Title of thesis : Studies on diversity and management of banana nematodes with special reference to Palakkad, district, Kerala.

Year of Joining-2017

Research Guide-Dr. Rasmi. A.R

Maya Ammathil Manoharan

Research Scholar, Govt. Victoria College Palakkad,678001


Year of joining: 2018

Research Guide: Dr. Suresh V

Jayalekshmi C V

Research Scholar, Government Victoria College.

Title: Immunomodulatory Activity and Phytochemical Analysis of Selected Plants Used in Folk Medicine of Palakkad for Post Natal Care

Year of Joining: 2018 

Research Guide: Dr. Suresh V

Reshma K Ramesh

Research Scholar, Govt. Victoria College Palakkad,678001


Year of joining:  2018

Research Guide: Dr. Suresh V

Ummu Habeeba K

Research Scholar (Part time),

Govt. Victoria College,


Title- Phytochemical profiling and Pharmacological investigation of selected species of Litsea Lam.Lauraceae, Southern Western Ghats,India.

Year of joining- 2018

Research Guide-Dr.Rasmi. A.R

Muhsina A A

Research scholar


Year of joining: 2020

Research guide: Dr. Maya C. Nair

Remya S

Research Scholar

Title: Morphological and molecular studies on tribe Gnaphalieae Cass. ex Lecoq & Juillet (Asteraceae) in South India

Year of joining: 2020

Research Guide: Dr. Maya C. Nair

Research Scholar: Ambika V


Year of joining: 2019

 Research Guide: Dr. Suresh V

Kanakambika G

Research Scholar

Thesis Title: Taxonomic and molecular revision of the genus Senecio L (Asteraceae) in South India.

Year of joining: 2020

Research Guide: Dr. Maya C. Nair

Athira S

Research Scholar

Thesis title-Taxonomic and molecular studies of the family Caryophyllaceae Juss. in southern Peninsular India.

Year of joining- 2020

Research Guide- Dr. Maya C Nair

Karthika M

Research scholar

Thesis title: Exploring the bioactivity of endophytic fungi from selected species of Ocimum L.

Year of joining: 2020

Research guide: Dr. A.R. Rasmi


Aswani V J

Designation: Research Scholar

Thesis title: “Studies on Angiosperm Flora and Bio- Monitoring of Walayar Hill Ranges of Southern Western Ghats, Kerala, India”

Year of joining: 2017

Research Guide: Dr. Maya C Nair

Athira M

Athira M

Research scholar

Thesis Title: Adaptive Strategies of Wetland Plants of Palakkad Gap Region to Cope with    Abiotic Stress: Exploring the Shift towards Crassulacean Acid Metabolism.

Year of joining: 2024

Research guide :  Dr. Suresh V

Victorian Contribution to botanical novelties

Oldenlandia dineshii Sojan and V. Suresh


Oldenlandia dineshii (Rubiaceae) grows at about 130 m altitude on Hillocks of Nemmara, south of Palakkad in the valley of Nelliyampathy hills.  The species is named in honour of Prof. Dinesh Kumar T. K., Retired Professor of Botany, University College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala; a great teacher and taxonomist who stood away from the limelight of plant taxonomy by his own humility and unambitious nature. He was the teacher who motivated the authors in citation.


 Sojan Jose, Maya C. Nair, K. M. Prabhukumar, V. V. Asha, R. Prakash Kumar, P. V. Madhusoodanan and V. Suresh. 2015. Oldenlandia dineshii (Rubiaceae: Spermacoceae), a new species from the Palakkad Gap region of Western Ghats, India. Kew Bulletin 70(13); 1-5, DOI 10.1007/S12225-015-9564-Y.

 Sonerila nairii Soumya and Maya


Sonerila nairii belonging to the family Melastomataceae grows at altitudes of 1140–1160 m in shady rock surfaces within moist loose soils and under the evergreen canopies along the Pothumala hill tract of Nelliampathy hills.


The specific epithet honours Dr. P.K.K. Nair (1930- 2018), eminent scien­tist, renowned as father of Indian Palynology who was the mentor and research guide of Dr. Maya C. Nair.


Soumya M and Maya C. Nair. 2016.  Sonerila nairii (Melastomataceae) – a new species from the southern Western Ghats, India Phytokeys 62: 15–23 (2016), DOI:10.3897 / Phytokeys .62 7623.

Sonerila victoriae Soumya and Maya


This new species, Sonerila victoriae (Melastomataceae) was recorded from Pothumala of Nelliyampathy hill ranges of Western Ghats of Kerala. The specific epithet is named after Govt. Victoria College Palakkad, Kerala, India, one of the premier educational institutions in Kerala with a long-standing history of 130 years. It is through this institution Britishers laid foundations of higher education in Kerala and is the alma mater for all the authors.


Soumya M., Rampradeep R., Jisha K., Arabhi P., Rekha Vasudevan A and Maya C. Nair. 2017. Sonerila victoriae, a new species of Melastomataceae from Southern Western Ghats, India. Phytotaxa 324 (2), 187-192, https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.324.2.7.


Oldenlandia vasudevanii Soumya and Maya


The new species Oldenlandia vasudevanii (Rubiaceae) was procured from the Karassuri hill tract of Nelliyampathy hills of Southern Western Ghats, Palakkad, Kerala. The species is named after Prof. R. Vasudevan Nair, an eminent retired taxonomy professor of Govt. Victoria College, Palakkad, who have made original collections of Oldenlandia hygrophila, recorded from Palakkad District of Kerala, India.

 Soumya, M., Sojan, J., Suresh, V and Maya C. Nair. 2017. Oldenlandia vasudevanii (Spermacoceae, Rubiaceae) a new species from the Southern Western Ghats, India. Phytotaxa 305 (1), 41-46.


Pilea victoriae V. Suresh & Sojan


A new species of Pilea Lindley. from Palakkad gap region of Western Ghats of Kerala is described as Pilea victoriae sp. nov. The species is named after its type location Government Victoria College, Palakkad in honour of its services to the education sector of the state.


Sojan Jose, Suresh V, Hareesh VS, Robi AJ, Resmy PS, Dinesh Raj R, Asha VV, Prakashkumar R and Madhusoodanan PV. 2017.  PILEA VICTORIAE (URTICACEAE), A NEW STRIKING SPECIES FROM THE MURAL FLORA OF WESTERN GHATS, INDIA.  Int. J. Adv. Res. 5(8), 1636-1641

Elaeocarpus gadgilii A. M. Maya, V. Suresh & K. M. P. Kumar


Elaeocarpus gadgilii a new species collected from Nelliyampathy belongs to the family Elaeocarpaceae.

Etymology:—The species is named in honor of Sri. Madhav Dhananjaya Gadgil, an Indian ecologist and head of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), in recognition of his immense efforts towards conservation of Western Ghats.


Reference : Manoharan M. A, Prabhukumar KM, Arjunan SK, Jose S, Veerankutty S. Elaeocarpus gadgilii (Elaeocarpaceae), a new species from Western Ghats (India). Phytotaxa. 2021 Mar 3;489(1):87-93.


Sandracottus vijayakumari


A new beetle species has been reported from nelliyamapthy range of Westernghats as a part of the documentation of species diversity loss due to 2018 flood


Anand, P.P., P.P. Ashiq, M. Smitha, M. Adhithya, T. Tibin & V. Suresh (2021). Sandracottus vijayakumari (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae), a new aquatic beetle species from landslide hit area of Nelliyampathy Forest Range, Western Ghats, Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(3): 17999–18003. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6193.13.3.17999-18003


Glycosmis nelliyampathiensis Jabeena & Maya


Jabeena , M K., Aswani, V J and Maya C Nair. 2021. Glycosmis nelliyampathiensis (Rutaceae), a new species from southern Western Ghats, Kerala, India. Phytotaxa 496 (3): 269–274. https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.496.3.5


This is a new taxon belonging to the Citrus family, Rutaceae named after Nelliyampathy hills of Kerala.

Eugenia pokkudanii  A.M. Maya, K.M. Prabhukumar and V. Suresh

Eugenia pokkudanii, a new species of Myrtaceae from Nelliyampathy, Palakkad District, belongs to the family Myrtaceae

Etymology: The species is named in honour of the late Mr Kallen Pokkudan, an Environmental activist from the state of Kerala, India, in recognition of his efforts for the protection and proliferation of the mangrove forests in Kerala, India.

Reference: MANOHARAN, M.A., PRABHUKUMAR, K.M., JOSE, S. and Suresh, V., 2021. Eugenia pokkudanii (Myrtaceae): a new species from Sky Islands of Nelliyampathy, Kerala, India. Phytotaxa, 502(3), pp.283-288.

Tripogon sugathakumariae Jabeena, Sunil & Maya


Tripogon sugathakumariae, is  a new species from Nelliyampathy hills of southern Western Ghats and  is closely similar to T. bromoides. The specific epithet is named after the renowned writer in Malayalam poetry, who stood with her strong words for mother Nature and conservation of natural resources, Padmasree Smt. Sugathakumari. She was at the forefront of environmental and feminist movements in Kerala and played a prominent role in the save Silent Valley movement.


Jabeena, M K., Prabhukumar K. M., Remya, S., Athira, S., Hareesh, V S., Maya C. Nair & Sunil, C.N. 2022. Tripogon sugathakumariae (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Tripogoninae), a new species from southern Western Ghats, Kerala, India. Phytotaxa 536 (1): 101-105. 



New Distributional records

Dipcadi montanum (Dalzell) Baker


This taxon is an addition to the floristic wealth of Kerala and recorded from Vengappara, in Kollengode range, where an active quarry is in operation.


Sojan Jose., V. Suresh; R. Prakash Kumar and P. V. Madhusoodanan. 2013.  Dipcadi montanum (Dalzell) Baker. An Addition to the Flora of  Kerala, India. J.  Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 110 (3), Sept-Dec 2013

Eriocaulon nepalense var. luzulifolium (Mart.) Praj. & J. Parn.


During the floristic exploration in the Kollengode range forests in Nemmara Forest Division of southern Western Ghats, an interesting specimen of Eriocaulon growing in the Manpara region of Nelliyampathy Hills was collected and was identified as Eriocaulon nepalense var. luzulifolium (Mart.) Praj. & J. Parn., hitherto unknown from any of the southern Indian states. This plant was observed in waterlogged areas in evergreen forests.


Soumya, M and Maya C. Nair. 2019.  The Nepal Pipewort Eriocaulon nepalense var. luzulifolium (Commelinids: Poales: Eriocaulaceae): a new distribution record for southern India. J. of Threatened Taxa. 11(6): 13811-13814. DOI: 10.11609/jott.4759.11.6.13811-13814

Oldenlandia hygrophila Bremek.


Record of Oldenlandia hygrophila Bremek. (Spermacoceae: Rubiaceae), a lesser known herb from Palghat Gap of Western Ghats, Kerala, India


Taxon is growing on the rocky outcrops near the dam site of Malampuzha Cin Palakkad District



Meistera aculeata (Roxb.) Škorničk. & M.F. Newman


Aswani, V J., Jabeena , M K., and Maya C Nair. 2021. The Malay Cardamom Meistera aculeata (Roxb.) Škorničk. & M.F. Newman (Zingiberaceae: Alpinioideae) from the Palghat gap: a new record to Kerala, India Journal of Threatened Taxa: 26 April 2021 | 13(4): xxxxx–xxxxx. ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print) (Accepted for publication in April 2021)

Awards and recognitions

Dr. Maya C. Nair

Best paper award: Jabeena M. K. and Maya C. Nair, 2018. In the National Seminar “Plant Sciences: current challenges and Perspectives” organized by the department of Botany, University of CALICUT on February 28 to March 2nd of 2018 for the paper entitled “Microhabitat diversity and endemism of Hill Top, a high-altitude peak in Nelliyampathy hills, Southern Western Ghats”.

  1. Best paper award: Jabeena M. K. and Maya C. Nair, 2018. In the National Seminar “Nature, Society and Sustainability: Changing Contours” organized by MES Asmabi College, Kodungalloor on 19th and 20th March, 2018 for the paper entitled “Effects of landslides and mudslips in Kollengode and Nelliyampathy ranges in South of Palghat Gap, Southern Western Ghats, Kerala, India”.
  2. Best paper award: Jabeena M. K. and Maya C. Nair, 2019. In the two day national seminar on “Plant Systematics: Current Scenario and Future Prospects” organized by the Department of Botany, Sree Neelakanta Government Sanskrit College, Pattambi, Palakkad on 24th and 25th October 2019 for the topic “Assessment on endemic, threatened and alien invasive elements of high altitude ranges of Nelliyampathy hills – A case study”.
  3. Best poster award: Jabeena M. K. and Maya C. Nair, 2020. For the Poster entitled “Diversity, rarity and endemism influenced by invasiveness in Nelliyampathy hills of southern Western Ghats” in the India International Science Festival organised by Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India in collaboration with Vijana Bharathi (VIBHA) by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) during 23rd and 24th December, 2020.

Dr. Rasmi A R

  1. Best paper award: Snehalatha V. R. and R. Rasmi. 2020. “Comparative evaluation of the morpho-anatomical, pharmacological and biological properties of Syzygium laetum and Syzygium palghatense, endemic to Western Ghats” National seminar, held at Department of Botany, MES Kalladi College, Mannarkkad 3rd-4th February, 2020.
  2. Best paper award: Snehalatha V. R. and R. Rasmi. 2015. Antifungal activity of Lawsonia inermis L. leaf extract against Ganoderma lucidum causing basal stem rot in coconut. Abstracts: UGC sponsored National Seminar on “Plants and their healing touch: An overview of nature’s bounty” held at Department of Botany, NSS College, Nemmara, Palakkad.
  3. Second prize for poster presentation: R. Rasmi, D. Dileep and V.R. Snehalatha. 2014. “Evaluation of bacterial endophytes from coconut root against Ganoderma lucidum causing basal stem rot in coconut.”UGC sponsored National seminar on “Microbes for Green Environment” organized by Department of Microbiology & Biochemistry, St. Mary’s College, Thrissur, held during 21-22 August, 2014.

Dr. Suresh V

  1. UGC Raman fellowship, to University of Wisconsin Madison for 1 Year in 2016
  2. Fellow of Linnean society London in 2020

PhDs Awarded from the Department

1. Jisha K

Title of Thesis: Vascular plant diversity of riparian system along Thuthapuzha sub-basin, Kerala, India

Award Date: 17.03.2020; Research Guide: Dr. Maya C. Nair

2. Rekha Vasudevan A

Title of Thesis: Flowering plant diversity of Dhoni Hills of Southern Western Ghats, Kerala, India

Award Date: 06.08.2020; Research Guide: Dr. Maya C. Nair

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