Studies on identification, nomenclature, classification and distribution of plants of Kerala forests come under the purview of the Division of Botany (Taxonomy). These aspects are of paramount importance for research not only in Botany but also in various disciplines of Forestry and conservation.
The division is actively involved research and extension work rendered to various institutions in and outside Kerala and to the State Forest Department. Among these projects the establishment of a herbarium covering flora f Kerala finds the first place. So far over 10000 plant specimens representing most of the tree species of Kerala forests have been collected, identified and stored. Valuable materials exchanged from Botanical Survey of India and French Institute, Pondicherry are also included in the collection. This herbarium collection is of immense value in study of flora of Kerala state.
Along with the study on species diversity of our forests and their proper taxonomic identity, their distribution is also being studied. In this regard a detailed study on distribution of important tree species in the forests of the central circle of Kerala was taken up. This work provided detailed distribution maps of the important tree species.
A live collection of important medicinal plants of Kerala forests is maintained by the Department in collaboration with Department of NTFP at the KFRI Campus, Peechi. So far 300 plants were established in the garden.
The department also studies specific groups of plants such as orchids, lichens etc.
Investigations related to taxonomy, distribution, phenology and anatomy of Canes and palms and seedlings of various species of canes and palms are raised for a live collection in the campus
Ongoing Research Projects
- Strengthening and enriching the Palmetum
- Species recovery of selected endangered rattan species of the Western Ghats
- Computerisation of KFRI Library
- Conservation through restoration of two endemic endangered trees of Western Ghats of Kerala
- Phenology & seed dispersal of trees in the wet evergreen forests of Silent Valley,Western Ghats
- Regeneration dynamics propagation and restoration of selected rare and threatened rattans in the Kerala parts of Western Ghats
- Conservation through restoration of wild nutmeg tree populations of Western Ghats of Kerala
- Ex-situ conservation of wild orchids of Western Ghats India
- Systematics,Phylogeny and biogeography of dipterocorps in the Western Ghtas
- Ecology and restoration of Cynometra beddomei and Kingiodendron pinnatum two endemic and endangered tree legumes of Western Ghats of Kerala.
- Ecology and conservation genetics of Atuna indica and Hydnocarpus longipedunculatus -two rare and endemic trees in the Kerala part of the Western Ghats
Ongoing Extension Projects
- Strengthening and enriching the palmetum
- Maintenance and enrichment of medicinal plants garden at peechi campus
- Strengthening and maintenance of institute arboretum
- Strengthening and enriching of KFRI Herbarium.
- Maintenance and enrichment of medicinal plants garden at Peechi campus- Phase II
- Strengthening and enriching of KFRI Herbarium
- Strengthening and enriching of KFRI Palmetum
Contact: Head of the Department
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA