It is endemic to the South Western Ghats of Kerala, India. The Western Ghats has extremely high species diversity and endemism and is recognised as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biodiversity. Over 50% of the trees which grow in the region are found nowhere else in the world!
The species was previously only reported from its type locality collected in 1904. After 97 years it has been rediscovered but only four trees survive, of which only two produce seed.
It is on the verge of extinction. No new seedlings have been observed which is thought to be as a result of poor conditions in its remaining natural habitat. This habitat under threat from development programmes in the area, particularly road expansion.
Improving the germination of this species is a key challenge. Funding will enable experiments to be conducted exploring how to break seed dormancy and increase its germination rate. This methodology will be used to grow saplings which will be reintroduced back into the wild. Community engagement is also of great importance to ensure that conservation actions are sustainable.