Two new species of ginger have been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh by Dr Mamiyil Sabu and V S Hareesh, who came to Arunachal in June 2017 from the University of Calicut. The species has been discovered in the Mishmi Hills in Eastern Arunachal Pradesh by the two professors who were in Arunachal on a research program supported by Department of Biotechnology, GoI.
The species found in Dibang Valley is named as Amomum riwatchii (Zingiberaceae), after the cultural research institute RIWATCH, Roing, for its contribution towards biodiversity conservation. RIWATCH facilitated the researchers to accomplish their studies and provided back up services like sending samples of flowers of the plant, photographs etc.
The species discovered in Anjaw district is named Amomum nimkeyense (Zingiberaceae), as a tribute to Mishmi culture. Nimkey is a spiritual place for the Taraon and Kaman Mishmis of Lohit and Anjaw districts. Nimkey is a place where the priest rests the departed soul for a while before guiding it to the heavenly abode.
Dr. Haridasan, a renowned scientist who had served in Forest Department of Arunachal Pradesh for many decades is to be given credit for this discovery. He guided many dedicated researchers to Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh has been a home to varieties of plant species that needs to be documented scientifically. This discovery should surely revive the interest of the botanists to take further research on identifying and documenting the rich diversity of Arunachal Pradesh.