1. Family: Malvaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Abutilon Mill.
      1. Abutilon ranadei Woodrow & Stapf

        Abutilon ranadei was first collected at Amba Ghat in the Kolhapur District of Maharashtra State by Namdeorao B. Ranade, sometime Keeper of the Herbarium at the College of Science, Pune. Kew botanist Otto Stapf and G.M. Woodrow described it as a new species in 1894 and named it in honour of Mr Ranade. Because of its narrow range and extreme rarity, in the past it has been rated as Endangered or even presumed extinct, and has only recently been assigned to the Critically Endangered category. In addition to its type locality, A. ranadei has now been collected in nine new locations: in Pune (Shilimb, Rajgad, Torna Fort, Purandhar Fort), Satara (Vasota Fort), Sangali (Gothne, Prachitgad), Kolhapur (Radhanagari), and Sindhudurg (Amboli) Districts of Maharashtra State.

    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description
    Abutilon ranadei is a Critically Endangered shrub with great potential as an ornamental; it is restricted to Maharashtra State in western India.

    Abutilon ranadei was first collected at Amba Ghat in the Kolhapur District of Maharashtra State by Namdeorao B. Ranade, sometime Keeper of the Herbarium at the College of Science, Pune. Kew botanist Otto Stapf and G.M. Woodrow described it as a new species in 1894 and named it in honour of Mr Ranade. Because of its narrow range and extreme rarity, in the past it has been rated as Endangered or even presumed extinct, and has only recently been assigned to the Critically Endangered category. In addition to its type locality, A. ranadei has now been collected in nine new locations: in Pune (Shilimb, Rajgad, Torna Fort, Purandhar Fort), Satara (Vasota Fort), Sangali (Gothne, Prachitgad), Kolhapur (Radhanagari), and Sindhudurg (Amboli) Districts of Maharashtra State.

    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Abutilon ranadei is restricted to the North Western Ghats of Maharashtra State in western India, where it occurs at 600-1,200 m above sea level, between 16.4 – 19˚ N and 72 – 74˚ E on the crest line of the Western Ghats. It is restricted to highly fragmented populations in ten localities, in moist deciduous forest on hill slopes, especially in thickets or stands of Strobilanthes callosa(known locally as ‘karvi’).

    Description

    Overview: Abutilon ranadei is an undershrub, measuring 2.5-3.5 m high. The vegetative plant parts bear star-shaped hairs.

    Leaves:The leaves are ovate to rounded-ovate, with tips that taper to a point, heart-shaped bases and scalloped to toothed margins.

    Flowers: The solitary flowers are about 2.5 cm in diameter. The calyx is bell-shaped, with lobes free up to the middle, and is covered with glands and star-shaped hairs. The corolla is bell-shaped with pale purple petals with orange-yellow tips. The petals are twice as long as the calyx. The staminal column is 2-3.5 cm long and is hairless with purple lines. The filaments are white with a reddish base, 3-5 mm long, and have dumbbell-shaped glandular hairs in the upper part. The anther lobes are kidney-shaped and are initially green, turning dark rose at maturity and brownish-violet at dehiscence. There are five styles, which are up to 7 mm long and sparsely hairy. The five carpels have a sharp point and are densely hairy throughout.

    Fruits: The fruits are schizocarpic (split into a number of seed-containing parts).

    Flowering and pollination

    Flowering begins in early November and continues until the end of March.

    During the pollination stage the glandular hairs on the calyx tube emit a strong odour and secrete nectar from the nectaries, which are located at the base of the petals. These attract insects such as honey bees ( Apis mellifera) and certain fast-moving Dipteran flies, which are most likely to be the pollinators.

    Detailed pollination studies, however, are urgently needed.

    Threats and conservation

    Abutilon ranadei faces both man-made and natural threats.

    Anthropogenic threats include the periodic harvesting of firewood from the edges of the forests where it occurs, forest fires, and the collection of Strobilanthes callosa stems for house-building and agricultural practices, which disturb the habitat of this dwindling species.

    A. ranadei also faces natural pests such as tropical red spider mites, striped mealy bugs, cabbage semi-loopers, aphids, purple scale insects, leaf miners and snails. Amongst the known natural pests, mealy bugs present the most common threat.

    Cultivation and re-introduction

    Although Critically Endangered in the wild, Abutilon ranadei can be propagated by seed and vegetative propagation under nursery conditions. However, the percentage of seeds germinating is very low. Vegetative propagation methods such as air layering are more successful, and this method is used at the Naoroji Godrej Centre for Plant Research (NGCPR, Shindewadi), Satara District, Maharashtra State of India. A. ranadeiplants produced by air layering are then planted out into their natural habitat in Maharashtra.

    Uses

    Abutilon ranadeiis an attractive plant with showy, nectar-producing flowers and could be cultivated as an ornamental.

    This species at Kew

    Pressed and dried specimens of Abutilon ranadei are held in the Herbarium at Kew, where they are available by appointment to researchers from around the world. The details, including images, of some of these specimens can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue.

    View details and images of specimens

    Distribution
    India
    Ecology
    Edges of moist deciduous forest.
    Conservation
    Critically Endangered (CR) according to IUCN Red List criteria.
    Hazards

    None known.

    [KSP]
    Use
    Potential ornamental.

    Images

    Distribution

    Common Names

    English
    Ghanti Mudra

    Abutilon ranadei Woodrow & Stapf appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Identified Reference Herbarium Specimen Type Status
    s.coll. [s.n.], Maharashtra K000659531 Unknown type material
    Rowjee [s.n.], Maharashtra K000659532 Unknown type material

    First published in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1894: 99 (1894)

    Accepted in:

    • [5] Govaerts, R. (1995) World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 529. MIM, Deurne

    Literature

    • [1] Tetali, P., Tetali, S., Joshi, P.V., Kulkarni, S., Lakshminarasimhan, P. & Prasanna, P.V. (2004). Ecological and conservation studies of Abutilon ranadei Woodr. et Stapf. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 101: 344-352.
    • [2] Mishra, D.K. & Singh, N.P. (2001). Endemic and Threatened Flowering Plants of Maharashtra. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.
    • [3] Punekar, S.A., Kavade, S.P. & Jagdale, R.P. (2001). Collection of an endemic rare species Abutilon ranadei Woodrow & Stapf (Malvaceae). J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 25: 261-263.
    • [4] Bachulkar, M.P. & Yadav, S.R. (1997). Record of Abutilon ranadei Woodrow & Stapf in an area other than the type locality. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 94: 591-592.
    • [6] Paul, T.K. (1993). Malvaceae. In: Flora of India Vol. 3, eds. B.D. Sharma & M. Sanjappa, pp. 256-394. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.
    • [7] Mistry, M.K. & Almeida, S.M. (1989). Some rare, endangered and threatened plant species from Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 86: 478-479.
    • [8] Nayar, M.P. & Sastry, A.R.K. (1987). Red Data Book of Indian Plants Vol. 1. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.
    • [9] Ahmedullah, M. & Nayar, M.P. (1986). Endemic plants of Indian region Vol. 1. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.
    • [10] Cooke, T. (1901). The Flora of the Presidency of Bombay Vol. 1. Taylor & Francis, London.
    • [11] Woodrow, G.M. & Stapf, O. (1894). Abutilon ranadei. Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew. 87: 99.

    Sources

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families (2017). Published on the internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp
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