On one of the nature trails on the outskirts of Bangalore we found this creeper with a very intriguing flower. It appeared like an insectivorous plant. We were fascinated by its appearance and started to take pictures. Little did we realize that it was a rare plant.
As soon as I got back started to look for the id , a friend identified this as the Ceropegia species.
I confirmed the species id with Guru- G. On browsing the http://www.flowersofindia.net/ website found that the plant id was Ceropegia candelabrum .
Flowers of most species in the genus Ceropegia have elaborate adaptations to trap pollinating flies. Flies are trapped within a bulbous base of the flower after moving through an elongated corolla tube that is frequently lined with stiff hairs. When these hairs wilt after several days, insects held in the bulbous chamber at the base of the corolla tube are released.Indeed they were smart plants which had this unique mode of pollination.
I realized that I had stumbled upon an endangered species featured in the IUCN red list of critically endangered plants- 1999.
Over exploitation of Ceropegia species for these tubers by humans and various animals, endemism, and habitat loss have caused their decline in the wild. Ceropegia is extensively uesd in Indian medicine to cure various disorders. We should realize that by losing a species we might lose an answer to a medical problem which the researchers are trying to solve.
Due to the untiring efforts of our scientists quest to conserve this valuable genus the conservation status has been raised from critically endangered to rare.
If we realize how important these species have an effect on our health. We will be more careful not to destroy the species around us. Healthy ecosystems prevent human illness by providing food and clean water, and by breaking down and recycling wastes In addition, many plants and other organisms are useful in medical research or contain substances used as medicines.
“The challenge for those of us working to preserve biodiversity is to convince others, policy-makers and the public in particular,that we human beings are intimately connected with the animals, plants, and microbes we share this small planet with, and totally dependent on the goods and services they provide, and that we have no other choice but to preserve them.”-Aaron Bernstein
Here is a link on how biodiversity affects our health–http://chge.med.harvard.edu/resource/how-our-health-depends-biodiversity
Some interesting links of this species: