Why in news?
Botanical Survey of India (BSI) came up with the first comprehensive census of orchids of India putting the total number of orchid species or taxa to 1,256
- Orchids can be broadly categorized into three life forms:
- Epiphytic (plants growing on another plants, on rock boulders),
- Terrestrial (plants growing on land and climbers),
- Mycoheterotrophy (plants which derive nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi that are attached to the roots of a vascular plant).
- About 60% of all orchids found in the country, which is 757 species, are epiphytic, 447 are terrestrial and 43 are mycoheterotrophy.
- Among the 10 biogeographic zones of India, the Himalayan zone is the richest in terms of orchid species followed by Northeast, Western Ghats, Deccan plateau and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- While North-east India ranks at the top in species concentration, the Western Ghats have high endemism of orchids (one- third of the species).
- The highest number of orchid species is recorded from Arunachal Pradesh followed by Sikkim and West Bengal.
- The entire orchid family is listed under Appendix II of CITES and hence any trade of wild orchid is banned globally.