An Account of Epiphytic Orchids of Nainital in Relation to Their Host Specificity

Author(s): Jyoti and L. M. Tewari

Orchids are highly evolved and specialized group of flowering plants belonging to family Orchidaceae.
It is the second largest family of the flowering plants in the world with more than 24,000 species of perennials that
includes terrestrial, saprophytic, lithophytic and epiphytic species. The present work is based on the systematic
ephiphytic orchids observations based on habit, habitat, colour of flower, flowering period and detailed morphological
features. Twenty-two epiphytic orchid species belonging to fifteen genera were recorded from Nainital area. The
genera represented were Dendrobium (four species), Aerides, Bulbophyllum, Eria and Oberonia (two species each)
while rests were represented by single species each. The host species such as Quercus leucotrichophora (6), Sapium
insigne (5), Syzygium operculatum, Bombax ceiba and Pyrus pashia (4) supported maximum number of epiphytic
orchids followed by the species Syzygium cumini and Toona ciliata (3). Four host species reported with single orchid
species. Due to high anthropogenic pressure and changing environmental conditions resulted in vulnerability of
these species. Therefore, regular monitoring of the species, mass scale propagation and creating awareness among
the local inhabitants are suggested.


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