**************DEVACHEA NAVAN ANI GOEMCARANCHEA MANNANK******************* This blog is an attempt to delve into the traditions, heritage, culture, lore and ambience that spawned an enigma. A state of mind. And to perchance perform a perfunctory probe into the psyche of the Goemcar. ************************************************************************************************* GOEMCAR: Any person anywhere in the world - Goemcar rogtacho!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006



Orchids form one of the largest of plant families with nearly 24,000 species and thousands of man-made hybrids. Orchids can be found in extreme temperatures from deserts to snow covered hills of the Himalayas. Orchids are on the decline in many parts of the country. The Himalayan belt itself is home to more than 750 species, thus calling it a paradise for orchids.
Goa too is a home to several species of Orchids contributing to its rich bio-diversity in the Western Ghats.
In the recent years, over exploitation of Orchids from the wild, either by humans or due to clearing of forest areas, has left us without a clue of ecological hazards. Their disappearance indicates a change in the quality of soil and air of the region. They are also threatened by grazing of life stock, construction of dams, bridges, some unnatural disasters like forest fires, etc . In India, Orchids grow wild in the forests of the Himalayas particularly in Darjeeling, Sikkim, Karnataka and Kerala.
Tissue culture is vital for the propagation of Orchids. In spite of the exploration many species are yet to be discovered. Orchids are mainly shade loving plants
As we know that due to the changes in the environment, the world is facing the deficiency in rainfall and thus shortage of water, which is the basic requirement of human race animals and plants. Countries are realising that rainfall is decreasing every year which thus affects the growth of Orchids that thrive in regular rainfall. Orchids are a protected species under the convention on International Trade in Endangered Species under schedule VI of the wildlife protection act 1972
Many Orchids have common names according to their resemblance, their distinctive patterns, shapes and features. Dancing Lady, for example, has resemblance to a ballet dancer. The other species comprise Spotted leopard Orchid, Moth orchid, Dove Orchid, Scorpion Orchid, Spider Orchid , Butterfly Orchid, Swan Orchid, Rattlesnake orchid, Veiled Nun, Flying duck, Donkey orchid (which has two ear like petals) and Cucumber Orchid (leaves with tiny bumps and is shaped like a cucumber)
CLASSIFICATION OF ORCHIDSOrchids can be divided into two groups based on their habitat
1> Terrestrial Orchids are earth dwellers, which grow on soil like any ordinary plants. Eg Cymbidium, Papniopedilum (Lady’s Slipper) Spathoglottsi.
2> Epiphytic Orchids are those that grow on trees as epiphytes. It is important to know that epiphytic orchids do not take food from the tree that they are attached to; they merely use it as a platform or support. They have arial roots, which hang down and are sometimes called Valamen Roots. Valmen roots are a spongy covering on the roots that can absorb moisture and retain it. Eg Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums, Arachnis ( Spider Orchid), Aranda and Oncidium (Dancing Doll)
Based on their growth patterns Orchids can be divided into 2 groups: Monopodial and Sympodial
Monopodial Orchids, such as vandas and phalaenopsis, have a central stem which continues to grow yearly. Flowers are produced from leaf axis.
Sympodial Orchids, such as cattleyas and dendrobiums, have a main stem, which terminates growth at the end of the season. Each new shoot will produce a bulbous stem, which will flower.
Goa is home to 19 species of Orchids of which 3 species are rare. Let us take a closer look at these beauties that can survive drought for months together and yet produce some of the most spectacular blooms on earth.
1, Acampe praemorsaEpiphytic herbs, stem stout monopodial, leaves alternate, roots thick Flowers are small yellow with Purplish Lines. Abundantly found in Goa especially on Mango Trees.Misconception associated as a parasite grouped up with loranthus commonly called as Benur. Flowers between February to May
2. Aerides crispa ( Rare)Epiphytic herbs, stem covered with old leaves, roots are long slender and woody. Leaves Purplish green often seen with coloured patches of spots.Flowers white, while sepals pale pink, flowers during May to July
3. Aerides ringensEpiphytic herbs stem thick often with old leaf base. Leaves channelled, shape linear oblong, with 2 lobes at the tip. Purplish green spots. Seed capsule oblong in shape, which is ribbed. Flowers during May to July
4. Bulbophyllum heilgherrenseEpiphytic Orchid with creeping Rhizomes Pseudobulbs conical –ovoid yellowish to greenish in colour Fleshy, which terminate in a leaf. Leaf oblong in shape. Flowers are dense yellowish. Flowers during the month of Jan and Feb.
5. Cymbidium aloifoliumEpiphytic, pseudobulbs large, leaves linear lanceolate, sometimes bilobed. Flowers have large petals yellowish with purplish in the central portion. Flowers from April to July.
6. Dendrobium barbatulumEpiphytic. Leafless when in flowering condition. Leaves alternate, flowers white with a little pink tinge. Flowers 405 cms many flowers. It flowers from the tip of the cone during Feb. to March.
7. Eria microchilosEpiphytic, flat disc like base, leaves few, oblong lanceolate, flowers yellowish white. Flowers during Jan and Feb
8. Nervilia aragoanaTuberous terrestrial herbs, leafless when in flower, petiole purple, flower single. They flower during monsoons
9. Oberonia brunonianaEpiphyte, leaves oblong flowers dense, spike brown in colour, Flowers during monsoons.
10. Pecteilis giganteaTerrestrial herb, leaves long flowers greenish white, strongly fragrant, flowers during the month of September
11. Pholidota imbricata Epiphytic herb, pseudobulbs dull brown to greyish green in colour, leaf solitary. Flowers on pendulous racemes. Flowers pinkish, arranged alternatively. Flowers during the month of July.
12. Rhynchostylis retusaEpiphytic herb, base covered with leaves, roots stout, leaves alternate channelled bilobed towards tip. Flowers are inflorescence long. Flower pale pink to whitish pink. Flowers end of May to September
13. Peristylus densus
14. Peristylus plantagineus
15. Habenaria plantaginea.
16. Liparis deflexa (Rare)
17. Liparis nerusa
18. Luisa ecangelinea
19. Malaxis makinnonii
Be it for the majestic formation of the flower, fragrance, and brilliance in colour or shape, these are some of the most beautiful flowers on the planet.
[Daniel D’Souza is a horticulturist, landscape designer and a garden consultant. Presently, he is rendering his services to the Corporation of the City of Panjim as consultant horticulturist. He is responsible for the beautification of Panjim gardens and is also popularly known as the green man of Panjim. These orchids seen form a part of his personal collection at his countryside garden at Assagao.]

Article extracted from Goacom.


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