Phytodiversity of chasmophytic habitats at Olichuchattam Waterfalls, Kerala, India

Main Article Content

Arun Christy
Binu Thomas


The present study was conducted to analyse the Phytodiversity of Chasmophytic habitats at Olichuchattam waterfalls, Kerala, India. The studies on the plants in such special type of habitats are very less. Hence the present study will help to know more about them. Field exploration and observations were made, plants were collected, identified and herbarium was prepared.  Analysis of plants and soil samples from different regions of the study area based on altitudinal variations was also done. As a result of the study, a total of 120 plant species that belonging to 49 families and 93 genera were documented. Of these 5 species are bryophyte, 10 species are pteridophytes and 105 species are angiosperms. The ornamental potentiality of the plants in the study area was also analysed and it shows that a total of 47 species have ornamental potentialities. The present study also highlighted some threatening factors can affect the distribution of plants in the present study area. The present study highlights that, the rocky cliffs and crevices serves as an excellent habitat for many interesting plant groups. The plants in these habitats are very unique and are attractive.The rocky cliffs and crevices represents a good indicator of rich biodiversity within small areas.

, chasmophytes,, ,

Article Details

Author Biography

Binu Thomas, Department of Botany, Centre for PG studies & Research, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomus), Devagiri, Kozhikode, Kerala 673008, India.

Dr. Binu Thomas Asst. Professor
Department of Botany Centre for PG studies & Research  St. Joseph's College, Devagiri, Kozhikode, Kerala - 673008, India


Bashan, Y., C.Y. Li, V.K. Lebsky & M. Monero (2002). Colonization of chasmophytic plants in arid Baja California, Mexico. Plant Biology 4: 392–402.

Bhaskar, V. (2012). Taxonomic monograph on Impatiens L. (Balsaminaceae) of Western Ghats, South India. The Key Genus for Endemism. Centre for Plant Taxonomic Studies, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, 11–14pp.

Binu, T. & A. Rajendran (2012). Chasmophytic fern and fern allies of Coimbatore District, Southern Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Applied Biological Research 11: 1–10.

Binu, T., A. Rajendran & V. Aravindhan (2012). Chasmophytes: the potential plants for Rock gardening, from Velliangiri Hills of Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. Botanical Report 1(1): 14–19.

Danin, A., R. Gerson, K. Marton & J. Garty (1982). Patterns of limestone and dolomite weathering by lichens and blue – green algae and their paleoclimatic significance. Paleoecology 37: 221–233.

Davis, P.H. (1982). Cliff vegetation in the Eastern Mediterranean. Journal of Ecology 39: 63–93.

Furley, P.A. (1968). The relationships between soil formation and gradient in the Oxford area. Geomorpholgy 12: 25 –42.

Gamble, J.S. & C.E. CFischer (1915-1936). The Flora of Presidency of Madras. Part 1- 11 (Part 1-7 by Gamble and 8- 11 by Fischer) Adlard and Sons Ltd., London. (Repr. ed. Vols. 13. 1957).

Jackson, M.L. (1971). Soil Chemical Analysis. Prentice-Hall, New Delhi, India, 498pp.

Manudev, K.M., A. Weber & S. Nampy (2012). Henckelia pradeepiana, a new species of Gesneriaceae from the southern Western Ghats, India. Rheedea 22(2): 119–123.

Myers, N. (1988 and 1990). Threatened Biotas: hot spots in tropical forests. The Environment 8: 1–20; 10: 243, 256. DOI:

Nair, N.C. & P. Daniel (1986). The floristic diversity of the Western Ghats and its conservation: A review. Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences (Animal Science/ Plant Science) Supplement 127–163.

Nayar, M.P. (1996). Hot Spots of Endemic Plants of India, Nepal and Bhutan. Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, India, 256pp.

Pascal, J.P., B.R. Ramesh & D. De Franceschi (2004).Wet evergreen forest types of the southern Western Ghats, India. Tropical Ecology 45(2): 281–292.

Porembski, S. (2000). Biotic diversity of isolated rock outcrops in tropical and temperate regions. Journal of Ecology 146: 177–208.

Roy, D.L., R.W. Miller, C. John & C. Shickluna (1983). An Introduction to Soil and Plant growth. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 67–75pp.

Sasidharan, N. (2004). KFRI Handbook, No. 17; Biodiversity documentation for Kerala. Part 6: Flowering plants.

Schimper, A.F. (1898). Plant Geography up on a Physiological Basis. Oxford University Press, England.