Taxonomic identity, occurrence of six species of Salacia and first report on chromosome numbers of the Salacia chinensis L. and Salacia oblonga Wall ex Wight and Ern Var. from Western Ghats of Karnataka (India)

  • Sheetal Ganapati Kamat
  • R. Vasudeva
  • Chandrashekar G. Patil
Research Article


The genus Salacia is an important element of the forest flora of the Western Ghats of Karnataka and is well known for its anti-diabetic properties. The region hosts a wide diversity with several taxa. The genus is considered as a taxonomically difficult one due to the complexity and diversity in floral characteristics. The species is still poorly understood with respect to its cytological characteristics. The present study explicates the diversity and distribution of Salacia species in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. Here, we also present the first report of the chromosome numbers of the species Salacia chinensis L. and Salacia oblonga Wall ex Wight and Ern Var. and is different from those of other previously reported Celastraceae genera. Conservation status of Salacia species of the Western Ghats of Karnataka has also been revised in this study. The diversity of floral morphology, leaf morphology, fruit and seed morphology, stem and root morphology were elaborated along with a dichotomous key to the Western Ghats species. Morphological study in S. chinensis L., S. malabarica Gamble, S. oblonga Wall ex Wight and Ern Var, S. macrosperma Wight, S. reticulata Wight and S. gambleana Whiting and Kaul is done for the first time using descriptor analysis. The paper describes 73 morphological traits that appear to be at least partly genetically controlled and can be used as descriptors of Salacia species.


Salacia Descriptors Diversity Conservation Somatic chromosomes 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied GeneticsKarnataka UniversityDharwadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Forest Biology and Tree Improvement, College of ForestryUniversity of Agricultural Sciences, DharwadSirsiIndia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyKarnataka Science CollegeDharwadIndia

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