A rare orchid - Liparis Pygmaea - has been found for the first time in the western Himalayan region of Uttarakhand.
The flower was spotted by a team of the research wing of the Uttarakhand forest department at an altitude of 3,800 metres during a trek to Saptakund in Chamoli, earlier in June. Samples sent by the forest department to Botanical Survey of India confirmed it as Liparis Pygmaea, Chief Conservator of Forest Sanjiv Chaturvedi said.
The discovery made by a two-member team consisting of Range Officer Harish Negi and junior research fellow Manoj Singh has been recognised by the French scientific research journal 'Richardiana', which published a paper on the discovery.
"Liparis Pygmaea is a small terrestrial orchid which flowers in June-July. As it has been found for the first time in the western Himalayas, botanists consider it a very significant discovery," reported NDTV.
Calling it an important development in the study of rare orchid species, which are restricted to the alpine zone of the Himalayas, Chaturvedi said appropriate measures should be taken to preserve it. The orchid appears in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list.
Apart from one location in Uttarakhand, the species has been found in the past at three locations in Sikkim and at one in West Bengal. It has also been sighted in Nepal and China, the paper published in the French journal said.