Botanical Survey of India publishes first comprehensive census of orchids of India “Orchids of India : A Pictorial Guide”

The first comprehensive census of orchids of India has been published by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) under the title “Orchids of India : A Pictorial Guide”. As per the census, the 1256 species or taxa of orchids belong to 155 genera and 388 species are endemic to India. The highest number of orchid species is recorded from Arunachal Pradesh with 612 species, followed by Sikkim (560 species) and West Bengal (Darjeeling Himalayas) with 479 species. There are 388 species of orchids, which are endemic to India of which about one-third (128) endemic species are found in Western Ghats. The publication point out that Kerala has 111 of these endemic species while Tamil Nadu has 92 of them. The publication, which has photographs of 60% of all species, is the first authentic inventory and will be useful for researchers, growers, nature lovers and people with different backgrounds. Another interesting factor is that the entire orchid family is listed under appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and hence any trade of wild orchid is banned globally.

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