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12 new species of orchids and 2 new varieties of wild jasmine discovered in Sikkim 

First Published: 19th May, 2024 14:16 IST

The 2 new varieties of wild jasmine are-- Jasminum Caudatum and J.grandiflorum.

Reported by Prakash Adhikari | Copy edited by Lipika Roy

12 new species of orchids and 2 new varieties of wild jasmine have been discovered in Sikkim. 

New species of flowers have been discovered by Prakash Limboo, a geography teacher at Sikkim government school; Pramod Rai, a botany scholar from Namchi and Madhusudhan Khanal a PhD scholar from Kalimpong after 6 years of extensive, intricate and detailed research on flora of Sikkim around densely forested regions of the state. 

As per the research carried out by the trio and their findings, Bulbophyllum Nigrescens and Coelogyne Phitamii are two new orchid variants discovered for the first time in India. 

Other 10 new species of orchids are–Bulbophyllum Forrestii, B. Nigrescens, Coelogyne Bulleyia, C. chinensis, C. Micrantha, Dendrobium Brymerianum, D. capillipes, D. Darjeelingense, D. Pendulum, Goodyera Viridiflora and Vanda Lonagitepala. The two new jasmine records are Jasminum caudatum and J.grandiflorum. 

The 2 new varieties of wild jasmine are– Jasminum Caudatum and J.grandiflorum.      

10 more flora species are yet to be published, said the research team. 

Limboo highlighted the challenges of their research and expressed satisfaction with their discoveries.  

He said, “Discovering and recording some new species of flora from Sikkim and introducing the same to the world remain a dream of a botanist and our successful research work on regional flora of Sikkim reflects the fulfilment of long cherished dream of ours. The research work was carried out over a considerable period and was tiresome, but the outcome was more than satisfying. The discovery of new species of flora in Sikkim is a collective work of ours. We are happy to be a part of a successful research work and we are eager to team up again for another mission in the near future.” 

The researchers funded their work personally, without external financial help from the government.  

They maintained that as botanists or ‘citizen scientists’ they find it adventurous to delve into an objective of bringing the natural treasure trove of Sikkim present in the form of its rich biodiversity to the world and the recent research was part of their mission to study the flora of Sikkim with a hope of finding new flora species that fail to get recognized or recorded due to lack of research and study. 

They further shared that they have been working tirelessly in their capacity for the promotion, preservation and recognition of the flora of Sikkim. 

The team believes their discoveries will encourage further research into Sikkim’s biodiversity. 

They believe that if research and study of Sikkim’s flora and fauna are prioritized, with the help of higher education establishments, there are huge untapped natural resources yet to be found. 

As part of their commitment to botany, Limboo, Rai, and Khanal have rescued endangered plants from their native environments, grown them in their own gardens, and occasionally released them back into the wild.

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