Discuss about the “Orchids of Assam” .
Ans : Orchids of Assam :- The State of Assam is a constituent unit of the Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Region; one of the two biodiversity “Hot Spots” in the country. The climatic condition and wide variety in physical features witnessed in Assam have resulted in a diversity of ecological habitats such as forests, grasslands ,wetlands, which harbour and sustain wide ranging floral and faunal species placing.
In Assam , as many as 293 species of Orchids are reported which represent 44.39% of North-East species and 24.42% of species occurring in India.
Orchids as a group of flowering plants exhibit wide range of habits and have specific macro climatic equirements for their growth, development and regeneration. Assam orchids show all the habits and growth forms found in Orchidaceous taxa. Mostly they are epiphytes. Goodyera procera and Spiranthis sinesis are adapted to aquatic habitant whereas Vanilla pilifera and Galeola altissima are climbers.
Orchids grow to their magnificent best in the Evergreen and SemiEvergreen forest and to some extent in Moist Deciduous forests.
Species belonging to genera Acanthephippium, Anoectochilus, Apostasia, Agrostophyllum, Coelogyne, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Eria, Oberonia,, Calanthe, Eulophia, Geodorum, Habenaria, Malaxis, Nephelaphyllum, Vanilla, Zeuxine, Didymoplexis, Galeola, Bulbophyllum, Camarotis are the commonly found orchids in the state .
The state flower of Assam is an Orchid which is known as “ Foxtailed Orchid “ or Kopou Phool Rhynchostylis retusa ) which is famous for its use as an hair-ornament worn by Assamese women during folk dance Bihu on the onset of spring.
Conclusion :- The climatic conditions cause prevalence of hot and highly humid weather in this part of country and coupled with heterogenic physiography make possible luxuriant growth of a number of plant communities imparting Assam a distinct identity phyto-geographically and many a species are endemic to this region . The array of floristic richness has prompted many a scholars to describe Assam as the “Biological Gateway” of North East. The eminent Plant Taxonomist and Plant Geographer Armen L. Takhtajan observed, “Cradle of flowering plants lies in between Assam and Fiji”.