A checklist of angiosperm flora of low elevation lateritic hills of northern Kerala, India

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K.A. Sreejith
V.B. Sreekumar
P. Prashob
S. Nita
M.P. Prejith
M.S. Sanil


An inventory to prepare the checklist of angiosperm species in the lateritic hillocks of northern Kerala was conducted in five sampling sites during April 2013–March 2015.  In total, we recorded 364 genera with 535 species, of which 334 are native and 201 are non-native.  Native species were represented in 102 families, namely, Poaceae (28), Fabaceae (25), Acanthaceae (22), Rubiaceae (17) Euphorbiaceae (14), Commelinaceae (11), Phyllanthaceae (7), etc., whereas, non-native species were represented in 99 families.  Among the native species herbs are the predominant habit with 147 species (44%).  Out of the 72 endemic species, three taxa namely, Syzygium travancoricum, Santalum album and Hopea ponga are red listed species documented from the study area.  Twenty-seven invasive species were also recorded and major threats to the laterite ecosystems are by Lantana camara, Mikania micrantha, Pennisetum polystachyon, Ipomoea spp., and Senna spp.  Most part of the laterite has been converted to plantations, building sites and mining sites.  The indiscriminate mining for laterite, soil and demolishing the hillocks have severely threatened the very existence of the flora.


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