Grassland Composition In Eravikulam

 

Grasslands of Eravikulam


About 80% of the Park is occupied by grasslands. They cover the plateau and descending slopes. Three hundred and eight species have been recorded from the grasslands out of which 51 are endemic to the montane grasslands of the Western Ghats.
The major grass species in the grasslands are Andropogon lividus, Arundinella vaginata, Digitaria wallichiana and Arundinella mesophylla. Chrysopogon zeylanicus and Sehima nervosum dominate these plateau and slopes, whereas in the cattle grazed areas, unpalatable Cymbopogon flexuosus is frequent. Chrysopogon zeylanicus the dominant grass species is found at Rajamala, down slopes of Anamudi and Poovar. Sehima nervosum community is more prevalent throughout the plateau. Moist valleys are characterized by Garnotia sps. Other dominant grasses are Eulalia phaeothrix, Andropogon lividus, Arundinella purpurea, Agrostis peninsularis, Ischaemum indicum, Heteropogon contortus and Tripogon bromodies.

The common herbs and shrubs in the grasslands include Anaphalis lawii, A. bourneii, A. meeboldii, Swertia corymbosa, Polygala japonica, Curculigo orchioides, Micromeria biflora, Bupleurum distichophyllum, Crotalaria fysonii, C. ovalifolia, Ranunculus reniformis, Hedyotis swertiodes, Senecio lavandulaefolius, Parnassia mysorense, Pedicularis zeylanica, Wahlenbergia gracilifolia, Impatiens pandata, I. modesta, Phlebophyllum kunthianum, Hypericum mysorense, Pteridium aquilinum, Ageratina adenophora, Gaultheria fragrantissima etc. The water logged areas are dominated by species such as Eriocaulon robustum, E. collinum, and E. geofreyii.
The summit of the Anaimudi is vegetated with patches of stunted Arundinaria densifolia and Gaultheria fragrantissima (wintergreen), Anaphalis sp., Impatiens and some species of Eniocaulon.

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