Aristolochia ovatifolia, a climbing shrub found in China, was spotted for the first time in the Ukhrul district of Manipur by a team from New Delhi. The team work for a website on flowers called the Flowers of India. This oval-leaf pipevine species had been reported growing in thickets and forests in South-Central China at an altitude of about 1000-2000 metre. The flower of the new plant has been featured in the ‘Newly Added Flower First’ category of the website ‘Flowers of India’.
The flower hunters of the site spotted the plant while exploring the floristic diversity at Shirui Kashung peak in Manipur’s Ukhrul district. When they asked the locals about the flower variety, they replied that the plant was known as ‘Ngashanwon’ at the Shirui village in Ukhrul district.
Tabish, a physicist by profession also confirmed that there is no report of spotting this species in the Botanical Survey of India records. He said, ‘This rare plant must be growing in similar climate in the Northeast but nobody has spotted it till date.’ This climbing shrub with round stems, striped, densely yellow-brown hairy, with elongate internodes, are borne singly in axils of leafy shoots. The name ‘pipevine’ refers to unusual shape of the flowers, which look like Dutch smoking pipes.