Species in News: Rare Orchids Species Blooms


  • A rare orchid species — Eulophia obtusa — also known as ground orchid has been rediscovered in India after forest officials and wildlife experts on a routine inspection in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve chanced upon the white flower with bright pink hues.

About the Species

  • In India, the species — listed as “critically endangered” in the IUCN Red List of endangered species — was last recorded in Pilibhit in 1902, according to documented records in Kew Herbarium in England.
  • The species was originally described from Uttarakhand in the 19th century.
  • It was collected by botanists from Gangetic plains but there have been no sightings in the past 100 years.
  • In 2008, the plant species was sighted in Bangladesh for the first time.


Tiger orchids in bloom at Kerala’s botanic garden

  • Tiger orchids (Grammatophyllum speciosum), so called for their large and resplendent flowers which resemble the tiger skin, flowers in alternate years.

About TIger Orchids

  • It flowers alternate years.
  • It is endemic to South East Asia (countries like Indonesia, Philippines etc) and is an epiphytic plant.

Tiger orchid is a common name for several orchids and may refer to:

  • Diuris sulphurea, native to eastern Australia
  • Elleanthus, native to the neotropics
  • Grammatophyllum speciosum, the world’s largest orchid, native to southeast Asia
  • Maxillaria, native to the neotropics
  • Rossioglossum grande, native to Central America

Back to basics

About Epiphytic Plant

  • Epiphytic Plant grows on the surface of another plant and derives its nutrients from rain, air, water or from debris accumulating it.
  • Unlike parasitic plants, epiphytic plants use other plants as a base and do not harm its host. E.g. Lichens, Algae, Orchids etc.

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