The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has listed Neelakurinji under Schedule III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, including it on the list of protected plants. Neelakurinji has been included in the list after the Center increased the earlier protected list of six plant species to 19.
As per the order, those uprooting or destroying the plant will be fined Rs 25,000 and imprisoned for three years, furthermore, cultivation and possession of Neelakurinji are not permitted.
About Neelakurinji Flower
Neelakurinji is a shrub found in the Western Ghats in the Shola forests in the Southern part of India. It is peculiar that it blooms only once in twelve years. It has also given the name Nilgiris to the mountains of the region owing to its blue color. Neelakurinji usually grows at an elevation of 1300 – 2400 m and a height between 30 – 60 cm.
Neelakurinji takes 12 years to grow and bloom covering the whole valley. The blooming cycle was last seen in 2018 from Munnar’s Kovilur, Kadavari, Rajamala, and Eravikulam National Parks. It will be next seen in 2030. The flowers have a majestic purple-blue color. There are around 46 Kurinji species found in India.