Orchids of the Sikkim Himalaya revisited

Eastern Himalaya, with its unique biodiversity and habitats hosts a wide range of flora, of which orchids have attracted much attention since long. In 1898, two British botanists, Sir George King and Robert Pantling, with the help of Lepcha collectors, published their monumental work, The Orchids of Sikkim-Himalayas. In this iconic book, they identified and described 449 species with illustrations. Robert Pantling, who lived in the Government Chinchona Plantation, Mangpo, supervised the illustrations of live orchid species brought from various parts of the region by the Lepcha collectors, and along with Sir George King wrote the descriptions of the plant species. Even after 120 years, this pioneer work is considered the best and authentic account of the orchids of the region.

Since the work of King and Pantling, othershave published accounts of orchids of the Sikkim-Himalaya region. In most of these accounts, descriptions of many species are based on plants grown in artificial environments such as nurseries and homes of orchid growers. The transplantation of species from their own habitat often results in plants acquiring different habit, size, growth form, and flowering season and even flower color.

Now, using high technology digital photography, micro lenses and remote flashes, the details of the orchids of Sikkim-Himalayas have been captured from their native habitats, covering all the species and those the collectors missed out, with amazing details and quality needed to help researches in the field of advanced research. See details of this extraordinary and the first of its kind work, sponsored by ATREE, by logging on:

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