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Orchids at Kaziranga National Orchid Park in Assam

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    3rd May, 2021


The Orchid Park near Kaziranga National Park, Assam, is in news for its full bloom of variety of orchids and acting as treat for the eyes and a paradise for flower lovers.

About the Orchid and its abundance in India

  • It is estimated to be around 35,000 species of orchids in the world.
    • An approximately 1,314 species are found in India.
  • Categorization: Orchids can be broadly categorised into three life forms:
    • epiphytic: plants growing on another plants including those growing on rock boulders and often termed lithophyte
    • terrestrial: plants growing on land and climbers
    • mycoheterotrophic: plants which derive nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi and are attached to the roots of a vascular plant
  • Location: Himalayas, North-East India and Western Ghats are said to be the hot spots of orchid species.
    • It is also found in Deccan Plateau and Andaman Nicobar Islands.
    • North-East India has highest concentration and Western Ghats has highest endemism.
    • The highest number of orchid species is recorded from Arunachal Pradesh, followed by sikkim and West Bengal.
    • State flower: It is also said to be the State flower of Assam and Meghalaya.

About the Kaziranga National Orchid Park in Assam

  • The park was established in 2015.
  • Mini-themed village: It is designed as a mini-themed village, and encompasses a natural history museum, rice museum, a cultural centre, a handful of handicraft shops and a restaurant.
    • The museum is designed to suit the growth of the orchid.
    • The Orchids are said to be the greatest pride of North-East India. Assam is specially known for its wide variety of orchids.
    • This park is said to give protection to the wild varieties of orchids. As two species: Dendrobium Assamicum and Hearia Unmola has been extinct from wild.
    • The park is also known to have the world’s tiniest orchid.
      • It is a leafless epiphyte (a plant that requires another object or plant for physical support).
      • The scientific name for it being Taeniophyllum glandulosum.
  • Other orchids: The butterfly orchid, pineapple orchid, rabbit orchid, starfish orchid, the joker face and dancing lady orchid are other well known orchids of the park.
    • About 850 of them can be found in the Northeast and 402 species are found only in Assam.
    • Wild Orchid: The wild orchids are also collected from all across Northeast India.
      • It is found in variety of colours — yellow, orange, purple, pink, white and red. “
      • It has six petals — five identical and one modular.