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|Vol. 12(8), pp. 7-11||The McAllen International Orchid Society Journal||August 2011|
Effective Publication Date : 1-Aug-2011
*Pokharathok, 9 Arghakhanchi, Nepal
Note: All figures and drawings are by the first author.
Occurrence of two rare species of orchids namely Paphiopedilum fairrieanum (Lindl.) Stein and Paphiopedilum venustum (Wall. ex Sims) Pfitzer (Orchidaceae) is first time reported in Nepal. Detailed description, illustration and relevant notes are provided.
Conservation status, rare species, orchid, taxonomy.
The genus Paphiopedilum Pfitzer comprises about 80-85 species in the world, distributed in tropical Asia to the Pacific islands, with some species extending to subtropical areas (Zhongjian et al, 2011). Paphiopedilum fairrieanum (Lindl.) Stein is distributed in Bhutan, India (Pearce & Cribb 2002) and Paphiopedilum venustum (Wall. ex Sims) Pfitzer is distributed in China, Bhutan, India (Zhongjian et al 2011).
Paphiopedilum fairrieanum (Lindl.) Stein and Paphiopedilum venustum (Wall. ex Sims) Pfitzer have not previously been reported from Nepal (Hara et al 1978; Banerji and Pradhan 1984; Press et al 2000; DPR 2001; Rajbhandari and Dahal 2004, Rajbhandari and Baral 2010). There is no record of these specimen in the National Herbarium, Kathmandu (KATH) and Tribhuvan University Central Herbarium (TUCH). During the orchid survey in the eastern Nepal two very rare species of genus Paphiopedilum Pfitzer namely Paphiopedilum fairrieanum (Lindl.) Stein and Paphiopedilum venustum (Wall. ex Sims) Pfitzer were collected by the first author. The herbarium specimens are deposited in KATH.
Synonyms: Cypripedium fairrieanum Lindl., Gard. Chron. 1857: 740 (1857). Cordula fairrieana (Lindl.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 20: 2 (1912).
Fig. 1. Paphiopedilum fairrieanum close up of flower.
Taxonomic description: Plant terrestrial 20-30 cm tall. Leaves distichous, linear-oblong, 10-15×2-3 cm, apex acute. Peduncle slender, pubscent, spotted purple, 15-30 cm long, raceme with single flower. Floral bract pubescent, 2×0.7 cm, apex obtuse. Pedicel and ovary 3 cm, ovary terete, pubscent. Flower 5-8 cm across, sepals and petals white with purple veins, lip yellow to olive green with dark purple veins. Dorsal sepal elliptic-orbicular, 2.5×2.3 cm, ciliate, margin undulate, apex obtuse. Synsepal ovate, obtuse, 2-1.5 cm. Petal narrowly oblong, sigmoid-decurved, 2.6×1 cm, apex acute, margin undulate. Lip slipper-shaped, 3×2 cm, apiculate. Column teethed at apex, 7 mm long, staminoide elliptic. (Fig. 1)
Flowering time: October - December
Fig. 2. Drawing of Paphiopedilum fairrieanum.
Habit & habitat: Plants occur on the limestone cliffs near water, and on grassy slopes. In this habitat, the rain is heavy in the summer and fall and drizzles and fog are predominant during the winter. (Fig. 2)
Distribution: Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, India.
Specimens examined: Taplejung district, Mechi Zone at an altitude of 1500-1800 m, November, 2010, Raskoti B. B. 330 (KATH).
Conservation status: Rare. This species is either at the limit of its range or is on the verge of extinction. Very few plants are found in the local area.
Synonyms: Cypripedium venustum Wall. ex Sims, Bot. Mag. 47: t. 2129 (1820). Cordula venusta (Wall. ex Sims) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 20: 2 (1912). Stimegas venustum (Wall. ex Sims) Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 46 (1838).
Fig. 3. Flowering plant of Paphiopedilum venustum, in situ. (Wall. ex Sims) Pfitzer, Jahrb. Wiss. Bot. 19: 163. (1888).
Taxonomic description: Plants terrestrial 15-21 cm tall. Leaves distichous, abaxially densely purple spotted, adaxially tessellated with dark green, oblong-elliptic or narrowly oblong, 10-20×2.5-4 cm, apex acute. Scape erect, terminating in 1 flower; peduncle purple-brown, 12-16 cm, densely hirsute; floral bract ovate, 1.5-2 cm, conduplicate, abaxially sparsely pubescent, ciliate; pedicel and ovary 4 cm, pubescent. Flower 8 cm in diameter, dorsal sepal and synsepal white with green veins; petals yellow-whitish with green veins, flushed with purple in apical half, with a few large maroon warts mainly in basal half; lip and staminode yellowish, slightly tinged with purple-red and distinctly veined with green. Dorsal sepal ovate-cordate, 2.5-3×2-2.4 cm, ciliate, apex acuminate, synsepal ovate, 2-3× 0.8-1.2 cm, abaxially pubescent, ciliate, apex acute. Petals suboblong-oblanceolate, 3.7-4×1-1.5 cm, margin undulate, long ciliate, apex acute, lip slipper-shaped, 3×2 cm. Staminode reniform-obcordate, 6×12 mm, puberulent, with a broad sinus at apex. (Fig. 3)
Flowering time: December-March.
Fig. 4. Drawing of Paphiopedilum venustum.
Habit and habitat: Humus rich moist places near water canal in thickets or at forest margins; likes dappled light. (Fig. 4)
Distribution: Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, India.
Fig. 5. Flowering plant of Paph. venustum, in situ.
Specimens examined: Panchther district, Mechi Zone at an altitude of 1100-1600 meter, January, 2011, Raskoti B. B. 338 (KATH). (Fig. 5)
Conservation status: This species is very rare, only few plants are found in the local area.
The Curator of the National Herbarium (KATH) and Tribhuvan University Central Herbarium (TUCH) is thankfully acknowledged for allowing us to study herbarium specimens.
Banerji, M.L. & Pradhan, P. 1984. The Orchids of Nepal Himalaya. J. Cramer. In der A.R. Gantner Verlag Kommanditgesellschaft. FL-9490 VADUZ. Germany.
DPR, 2001. Flowering plants of Nepal (Phanerogams). Bull. Dept. of Plant Resources No. 18, Ministry of forest and soil conservation, HMG/Nepal.
Hara, H.; Stearn, W.T. & Williams, L.H.J. (Eds.) 1978. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal. Vol.-1: British Museum, London.
Pearce, N. & Cribb, P. 2002. Orchids of Bhutan Vol-3 Part-3, 2002. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland.
Press, J. R.; Shrestha, K. K. & Sutton, D. A. 2000. Annotated checklist of the Flowering plants of Nepal. The Natural History Museum, London.
Rajbhandari, K.R. & Dahal S. 2004. Orchids of Nepal: A checklist. Botanica Orientalis, Journals of Plant Science Vol. 4(1): 89-106.
Rajbhandari, K. R. and S. R. Baral. 2010. Catalogue of Nepalese flowering plants-Gymnosperms and Monocotyledons-1. Department of Plant Resources, National Herbarium and Plant Laboratories/Government of Nepal.
Zhongjian, L., X. Chen and P. J. Cribb. 2011. Flora of China. 25. P 33. Science Press Science (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis) P 440-444. Available from: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=123796 accessed 29 June, 2011.
Fig. 6. Lateral aspect of Paph. fairrieanum showing sterile staminode upper and the fertile ventral staminode, with a pollen mass in between both. Asher 35mm transparency #xx1180-26; Digital scan: Thur-11Aug11.
Fig. 7. Lateral aspect of Paph. venustum showing sterile staminode upper and the fertile ventral staminode, with a pollen mass in between both. Asher 35mm transparency #xx0181-38; Digital scan: Thur-11Aug11.
The following 35mm slides are from the Asher Archives. Each is Dr. James Asher's dissection work of flowers of the preceding two species illustrating additional anatomical differences between these two species. (Fig. 6) (Fig. 7)