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| Last Updated:: 14/02/2016

Flora

 

Nagaland state is endowed with rich biodiversity. Its beautiful landscape has luxuriant forest vegetation with high density of flora, plentiful number of species. Hence considered as one of the floristic hotspot in India. It lies between 25° 6´ and 27° 4´ N of latitude, 93° 20´ E and 95° 15´ E longitude which is generally a sub-tropical climatic zone. The state has a total land area of 16, 57,583 hectares; out of which forest occupy an area approximately 8, 62,930 hectares.

Beautiful suitable environmental conditions coupled with varying physiographical features favours the natural habitat for a large number of orchid species. Of the many species of flora, family orchidaceae represents the most distinguished and diverse flowering plants of the state adding another status to the natural beauty.


They are found to grow in multiple altitudes ranging from the lowest altitudinal town area Dimapur 260 meters to the highest peak Saramati 3840 meters above sea level. The distribution is encountered at all types of vegetations blooming a year through exhibit bewildering colours. The forest area is 82.21 % evergreen and mixed deciduous type, only coniferous and bamboo forest is 11.79 %, it naturally provides congenial habitat for adaptation of many orchid species. The adaptability of this family can be seen by their many different life forms represented as terrestrial, epiphytes, lithophytes and saprophytes. Many are epiphytes typically growing on branches of trees.

The climatic condition of Nagaland offers best for orchid growth. In summer, the average temperature is around 25°C and in winter maximum of 24°C to the minimum of 4°C. Average annual rainfall is moderate to high ranges from 2000-2500 mm. Relative humidity is 80-90 % in rainy seasons and light intensity of above 5000 lux.

According to a survey conducted by the Forest Department of Nagaland, there are more than 360 species of orchids belonging to 87 genera and that is about 27.76 % of the total India’s orchid species of 1300. It includes the species most common and commercially valuable in the international and national market; Bulbophyllum, Calanthe, Cymbidium, Coelogyne, Dendrobium, Paphiopedilum, Pleione and Vanda. Cymbidium ranks among the top ten floriculturally important plants of the state.

Majority of orchid species are concentrated in the district of Kohima, Mokokchung, Wokha and Tuensang. Mt. Japfu area has the highest number of orchid species found as recorded. The most dominant species among are Dendrobium, Bulbophyllum, Calanthe, Coelogyne, Liparis, Eria, Cymbidium, Oberonia, Pholidota, Goodyera, Habenaria and Peristylus.The largest species found is Dendrobium which accounts for about 10.52 % of the total species.
 

Beside these, there are many listed and recorded rare, endangered and threatened species of orchids in Nagaland, such as Arundina graminifolia (Bamboo orchid), Renanthera imschootiana (Red vanda), Rhynchostylis retusa (Fox tail orchid), Paphiopedilum insigne (Lady’s slipper orchid), Vanda coerulea (Blue vanda), Cymbidium tigrinum, Dendrobium wardianum, Dendrobium thyrsiflorum, Ascocentrum ampullaceum, Bulbophyllum rothschildianum (Red chimney orchid), Thunia sp, Phaius sp and Pleione sp. Not less than 37 genera having single species are registered. Tuensang district recorded the highest largest number of rare, endangered and threatened orchid species.

The size of orchid found in Nagaland ranges from 1-2 cm to more than 2 meters long as in case of Arundina graminifolia, Dendrobium hookerianum and Dendrobium moschatum. Some species are restricted and unique to the state. Cymbidium tigrinum was first discovered in Nagaland and is rare even in this state. Also, Bulbophyllum rothschildianum is an endangered and rare species in India.

 

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Source: Annual Administrative Report 2014-15 (Department of Forests, Ecology, Environment & Wildlife, Nagland, Kohima)

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