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Biodiversity & Environment

India’s First Cryptogamic Garden

  • 13 Jul 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, India’s first cryptogamic garden was inaugurated in the Chakrata town of Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

  • The garden will be housing nearly 50 species of lichens, ferns and fungi (collectively known as Cryptogamae).

Note:

  • Plant kingdom can be divided into two sub-kingdoms viz. Cryptogams and phanerogams.
  • Cryptogams consist of seedless plants and plant-like organisms whereas phanerogams consist of seed-bearing plants.

Key Points

  • Factors Responsible for Location of this Garden:
    • This garden is at Deoban in Chakrata at a height of 9,000 ft.
    • This site is chosen because of its low pollution levels and moist conditions which are conducive for the growth of these species.
    • Further, Deoban has pristine majestic forests of Deodar and Oak which create a natural habitat for cryptogamic species.
  • Cryptogams:
    • A cryptogam is a plant that reproduces with the help of spores.
    • The word "Cryptogamae" implies ‘hidden reproduction', referring to the fact that they do not produce any reproductive structure, seed, or flower.
    • Due to this, they are called "flowerless" or "seedless plants" or ‘lower plants'.
    • They need a moist environment to survive.
    • These are present in aquatic and terrestrial places.
    • Algae, bryophytes, lichens, ferns and fungi are the best-known groups of cryptogams.
  • Classification of Cryptogams: Cryptogams are classified into 3 groups based on the various structural and functional criteria of the plant.
    • Thallophyta: Thallophyta is a division of the plant kingdom including primitive forms of plant life showing a simple plant body. They lack roots, stems, or leaves.
      • It includes algae-like Spirogyra, Sargassum, etc.
      • They are predominantly aquatic and found both in marine as well as freshwater habitats.
    • Bryophyta: Bryophytes comprise a limited variety of non-vascular land plants. They prefer moist habitats but they can survive in dry environments too. Example- hornworts, liverworts, mosses, etc.
      • They occupy an intermediate position between algae and pteridophytes.
      • Since bryophytes can survive in both water and land, they are considered as the 'amphibians of the plant kingdom'.
    • Pteridophyta: A pteridophyte is a vascular plant that disperses spores. It is the first plant to have xylem and phloem.
      • Ferns are the largest living group of primitive vascular plants.
  • Other Types of Cryptogams:
    • Liches: Lichens are a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms, a fungus and an algae.
    • Fungi: It is a kingdom of usually multicellular eukaryotic organisms that are heterotrophs.

Source: IE

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