Fourteen new distributional records of Orchid from Mizoram

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Botanical Survey of India, Eastern Regional Centre, Shillong; sachinbsi2012@
*Corresponding author: S.K. Singh, email:


Fourteen species of orchids are added to the flora of Mizoram for the first time from Murlen National Park, Champhai. The same have been described and photographs of each species provided for their easier identification.

Keywords Orchid, distributional record, Mizoram


Family Orchidaceae is generally known for its beautiful flowering and potential in floriculture with a wide distribution and variants. It comprises c. 22,500 species under 779 genera (Mabberly, 2008) with preponderance in humid tropical forests. In India, c. 1300 species are recorded, of which maximum c. 890 species occur in North-east India (Rao, 2007). As per our knowledge, about 273 species of orchids are so far recorded from Mizoram (Singh et al., 1990; Rao, 2007; Odyuo & Tham, 2008; Zote et al., 2009, 2011; Kumar & Singh, 2012; Roy et al., 2012).

Murlen National Park located in the Champhai district of Mizoram. This protected area is one of the suitable homes for many rare and interesting plants because it lies in the proximity of the Chin Hills of Myanmar. The cool and moist environment in the area supports a diversified flora including rich orchid diversity. While working on the flora, authors have recorded 32 species earlier from here (Kumar & Singh, lc.). During field explorations to the Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, from since 2009 onwards, authors collected several species of orchids from here. The study of them reveals 14 noteworthy species viz.: Bulbophyllum crassipes Hook.f., Crepidium purpureum (Lindl.) Szlach., Dendrobium thyrsiflorum Rchb.f ex André, Dendrobium stuposum Lindl., Dendrobium wardianum Warner, Dendrobium williamsonii Day & Rchb.f., Gastrochilus obliquus (Lindl.) Kuntze, Habenaria reniformis (D. Don) Hook.f., Phreatia elegans Lidl., Smitinandia micrantha (Lindl.) Holtt., Streochillus hirtus Lindl., Sunipia andersonii (King & Pantl.) P.F. Hunt, Tainia viridifusca (Hook.) Benth. ex Hook.f. and Vanda pumila Hook.f. They are reported here as new distributional record for the state Mizoram. It is interesting to note that the present report includes two genera viz.: Phreatia and Smitinandia for the first time from the state Mizoram. A brief taxonomic description, distribution within the North-east India and phenology of each species provided in present communication.

Taxonomic Treatment

Bulbophyllum crassipes Hook.f., Brit. Fl . India 5:760. 1890; Seidenf., Dansk Bot. Arkiv 33(2): 129. f. 86. 1979. A creeping epiphytic herb. Pseudobulbs 5 – 7 cm apart on wiry rhizomes, globose – ovoid. Leaves solitary, oblong, notched at apex, shortly petioled. Flowers in densely racemes, reddish-brown or orange. Lip yellow, oblong, with truncate basal lobe, erose. Column teeth short.

Flowering: September – October.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Tualpui, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 16.10.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128807.

Crepidium purpureum (Lindl.) Szlach., Fragm. Florist. Geobot. Suppl. 3: 131 1995. Microstylis purpurea Lindl. Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 20. 1830.

A terrestrial orchid. Pseudostem cylindrical, fleshy, with several nodes, ± enclosed in sheaths. Leaves often 3 or 4, obliquely ovate or oblong, apex acuminate or caudateacuminate. Flowers peduncled, red or occasionally pale yellow. Lip superior, subovoid – rectangular in outline, apex deeply 2-lobed; auricles ovate or ovate-lanceolate, decurrent backward embracing column. Column c. 1 mm, stout.

Flowering: June – August.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Vaparthalang, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 10.07.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128495.

Dendrobium thyrsiflorum Rchb. f. ex André in Ill. Hort. 22: 88, t. 207. 1875

An epiphytic, erect herb with terete, grooved, glabrous pseudo-bulbs. Leaves 5-7, borne apically, elliptic-lanceolate, acute, glabrous. Flowers in subterminal, decurved, pendent racemes, white to light yellow. Sepals and petals white, spreading, glabrous. Lip yellow, broadly orbicular-oblong; epichile orbicular, funnel shaped, margin fimbriate, slightly undulate, orange yellow. Column with horn like apical processes, yellow.

Flowering: April – July.

Distribution: Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Chamdoor, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 09.04.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128809.

Dendrobium stuposum Lindl., Edwards’s Bot. Reg. 24 (Misc.): 52. 1838; King & Pantl., Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. Calcutta 8: 54, t.75.1898.

An epiphytic, erect herb. Pseudostem terete, tufted, thicker at apex, narrow at base. Leaves narrowly oblong, slightly notched at apex. Flowers in 1 – 2-flowered racemes, white, Lip with dull yellow blotches, oblong – obovate, 3-lobed. Side lobes truncate, cilliate-erose at apex. Mid lobe ovate – orbicular, disc hairy. Column broad.

Flowering: June – August.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Chamdoor, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 2-24.06.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128486.

Dendrobium wardianum Warner, Sel. Orch. 1. t.19.1862; Hook.f. Fl. Brit. India 5: 742. 1890.

An epiphytic or lithophytic herb with erect to pendulous, terete, nodally thickened pseudostem. Leaves deciduous, oblong-lanceolate, acute. Flowers in short racemes, white with purple tipeds. Lip with 2 maroon blotches.

Flowering: June – August.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Camdoor, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 09.04.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128335.

Dendrobium williamsonii Day & Rchb. f., Gard. Chron. 1869: 78. 1869.

Pseudostem cylindrical, stout with several nodes, golden yellow when dry. Leaves towards apex only, usually alternate, oblong or oblanceolate. Flowers spreading, pale yellow or white. Lip pale yellow or white, disk tinged with tangerine. Anther cap broadly conic, front margin densely shortly barbate.

Flowering: July – September.

Distribution: Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland.

Specimen examined: Tualpui riverside, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 20.03.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128810.

Gastrochilus obliquus (Lindl.) Kuntze, Revis, Gen. Pl. 2: 661.1891. Saccolabium obliquum Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 223 1833.

An epiphytic herb. Pseudostem pendent. Leaves oblong, acute, minutely, unequally 2-lobed. Flowers in dense corymbose racemes bright yellow with browinish purple spots.

Flowering: October – December.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Chamdoor, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 04.08.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128251.

Habenaria reniformis (D. Don) Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 6: 152. 1890. Listera reniformis D. Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 28. 1825.

A terrestrial orchid with globose, fleshy tubers. Pseudostem slender with 1 or 2 leaves at base and 3 or 4 bract like leaves above. Leaves orbicular, ovate-cordate to broadly ovate – orbicular, fleshy, often cordate basally, amplexicaul, obtuse apically. Flowers in 4 – 5-flowered raceme, green. Lip linear, slightly longer than or as long as sepals; spur often absent; stigmas subcylindrical or clavate.

Flowering: October.

Distribution: Manipur, Meghalaya.

Specimen examined: Chamdoor, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 14.07.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128808.

Phreatia elegans Lidl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 63. 1830; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 810.1890.

An epiphyte with a stout, more or less pseudo-bulbous stem. Leaves linear-oblong – oblanceolate, obtuse to retuse, disitichous. Flowers in densely racemes with distant, lanceolate, acute bracts and ovate-oblong – obovate-oblong, acuminate, single veined floral bracts, white, minute. Lip oblong, entire, sessile, deflexed about the middle, upper surface hispid or smooth, grooved down the middle.

Flowering: July – September.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 14.08.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128711.

Smitinandia micrantha (Lindl.) Holtt., Gard. Bull. Singapore 25: 106. 1969. Saccolabium micranthum Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 220. 1833.

A pendant growing epiphyte with an elongated, branching, turning pendulous stem Leaves linear, axillary, unequally and obtusely bilobed at apex. Flowers in, densely flowered racemes, white, spirally arranged on thick rachis, with triangular, acute floral bracts. Lip marked with violet, 3-lobed, side lobes serrate, mid lobe oblong to ovate, blunt, erosed margined. Spur shortly conical, with rounded apex.

Flowering: July – September.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Tualpui riverside, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 26.02.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128813.

Stereochilus hirtus Lindl., J. Proc. Linn. Soc. 3: 58. 1858; King & Pantl., Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. Calcutta 8: 237.1898.

A monopodial epiphytic herb, with erect stout stems covered with leafy sheaths. Leaves narrowly oblong, rigid, coriaceous, narrowed towards the minutely bifid apex jointed to a rugulose sheath at the base. Flowers in axillary, laxly flowered recemes, pink, short-lived, glabrous. Lip having a wide compressed conical sac adpressed to the ovary with triangular, converging side lobes and 2 large calli at the mouth of its oblong cavity.

Flowering: June – August.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Tualpui riverside, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 08.01.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128482.

Sunipia andersonii (King & Pantl.) P.F. Hunt, Kew Bull. 26: 183.1971. Ione andersonii King & Pantl., Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. Calcutta 8: 159.1898.

An epiphytic herb with globose pseudobulb, closely or slightly distant on thread like rhizomes. Leaves solitary, elliptic – oblong, slightly notched, blunt apex, sessile. Flowers 1 – 2, yellow with purple lip; floral bracts lanceolate, shorter than pedicelled ovary. Lip equaling the sepals with a broadly orbicular base, narrow, erect, rounded, erosed side lobes and fleshy, entire, blunt mid lobe.

Flowering: May – June.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Tualpui riverside, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 08.01.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128482.

Tainia viridifusca (Hook.) Benth. ex Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 820. 1890. Calanthe viridifusca Hook., Bot. Mag. 78: t. 4669. 1852.

A terrestrial; pseudobulb fusiform, ovoid, greenish brown. Leaves elliptic – lanceolate, acuminate. Flowers in racemes, green suffused with purplish brown, spur short obtuse. Lip white with yellow ridges, obovate – oblong, side lobes incurved, disk with 5 lamellae. Anther hemispheric
with 2 red bosses; pollinia 8, subequal.

Flowering: May – June.

Distribution: Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Tualpui, Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 26.02.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128811.

Vanda pumila Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 6: 53.1890; King & Pantl., Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. Calcutta 8: 216. 1898.

An epiphytic herb, with a stout, short, ascending stem covered with old sheaths. Leaves many, linear-oblong, equally bilobed at apex, and somewhat dilated at the base. Flowers in 2 – 4-flowered racemes, cream colored, red streaked, drooping, fragrant. Lip shorter than sepals, with a basal conical sac projecting below the lateral sepals, 3-lobed; lateral lobes small, triangular; midlobe broadly ovate, truncate at apex, fleshy.

Flowering: May – July.

Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim.

Specimen examined: Murlen National Park, Champhai, Mizoram, 31.07.2013, Ramesh Kumar & party 128708.


Authors are grateful to Director, Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata and H.O.O., Botanical Survey of India, Eastern Regional Centre, Shillong for facilities and encouragements. Thanks are due to the officials of Forest Department of Mizoram especially Mr. Joseph, Range officer at Murlen National Park, Rabung, Mizoram for rendering the logistic support during field explorations.


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