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K S Manilal

K S Manilal

Translated the botanical treatise, Hortus Malabaricus to Malayalam and English

Prof. K. S. Manilal is a botanist and taxonomist, best known for his research, translation and annotation of Hendrik van Rheede’s 17th century Latin botanical treatise, Hortus Malabaricus. The document extensively details the biodiversity and medicinal properties of over 700 indigenous plants in the Malabar region of Kerala. 

Before Manilal’s translation of this enormous 12 volume document into English and Malayalam, most of the information in this Latin treatise had largely remained inaccessible to the world. Manilal also authored 198 published research papers and 15 books on taxonomy and botany, of which a significant proportion were devoted to discussing the medico-botanical aspects, or
the historical, socio-political and linguistic significance of Hortus Malabaricus.

Manilal also made huge contributions to the field of botany and taxonomy throughout his life. Along with his students, he has discovered around 14 species of flowering plants, and recorded the existence of nearly 1,000 flowering plant species, including some like the Malabar Daffodil, which were previously thought to be extinct. Currently he is an Emeritus Professor of
botany at the Calicut University, Kerala. 

The use of languages being considered crucial in the evolutionary history of human beings, naming and classifying became a crucial activity.

Established the Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy