Friday, 8 November 2013

Six new orchids found

Indian scientists have located six new orchid species in Manipur, one of which is unique and has no chlorophyll.

Staff from the Orchid Research and Development, Hengbung, Senapati located the species, as part of its conservation work on orchid species found in the hills of Manipur.

Of the total 286 reported species of orchids grown in Manipur, 26 species were found last year by a research team of the Centre for Orchid Gene Conservation of the Eastern Himalayan Region, which conducted a survey in the forests there.

Among the highly threatened species of orchids specified in Schedule-VI of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, three species namely, Blue vanda (Vanda Coerulea) (Kwaklei), Red vanda (Renanthera imschootiana) (Kwaklei Angangba) and Lady’s slipper (Paphiopedilum spp.) (Khongup Lei) are at present preserved at the Centre, a source from the centre said.

There are also three other orchid species endemic to Manipur, namely– Ascocentrum ampullaceum var.auruanticum (Nachom Lei), Schoenorchis manipurensis and Kalimpongia narjitii.

The Northeastern region of the country was estimated to have about 600 species of orchids. As per Biological Survery of India (BSI), Manipur alone have about 450 species.

According to a report, The Khonghampat Centre is an ex-situ preservation centre with about 220 species of orchids.  The Centre is also preserving various species of trees, bamboos and other important rare and vanishing plants of the state.

By Pamela Kelt 

Loktak Lake, the only freshwater lake in Manipur

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