New variant of Keketiya named after C.W.W. Kannangara | Daily News

New variant of Keketiya named after C.W.W. Kannangara

Aponogeton Kannangara with blooms. Pictures by Mahinda P.Liyanage- galle Central Special Correspondent

A new variation of Keketiya (Aponogeton rigidifolius ) that was recently discovered by the Galle Wildlife Conservation Society was dedicated to Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara, father of Sri Lanka’s free education.

Aponogeton rigidifolius is native to Sri Lanka and the new variety was spotted along two watercourses at Morningside- Suriyakanda. The highly exotic assortment, Aponogeton Kannangara is hereditary to Morningside only and it is not present in any other location in Sri Lanka. Morningside is located at Suriyakanda division of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

Galle Wildlife Conservation Society member said they named the newly found variety to honour C.W.W Kannangara, who was Sri Lanka’s first Minister of Education and is considered the "father of free education in Sri Lanka”

Galle Wildlife Conservation Society President Madura de Silva commenting on their discovery said during a research on biodiversity of Galle and Matara districts, they found the new Kekatiya variation and as they noticed a remarkable distinction in the new type. Therefore they commenced extensive experiment on the plant.

Following a four year experiment on the plant the scientists confirmed it to be a special variety of Aponogeton rigidifolius which is native to Sri Lanka, de Silva said.

Phytotaxa Journal in their August 31 edition carried a full scale report on the research on Aponogeton kannangarae.

Before the finding of the new variety there were only four types of Kekatiya (Aponogeton) in Sri Lanka.

Out of the four types of Aponogetonaceae available in Sri Lanka Aponogeton jacobensii can be seen at Horton Plain and Nuwara Eliya while Kekatiya variety named Aponogeton rigidifolius is present in the low country wet Zone.

Scientists have assured that all such varieties are native to Sri Lanka.

With new discovery, the variety of Kekatiya found in Sri Lanka increases to five, out of which three are native to Sri Lanka. 

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