Local Goa News

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The rare stars and dolls of Satrem

Keri: For those interested in rare species of orchids, a trip to the border village Satrem, in Sattari, Goa, and its neighbouring village Parvad in Karnataka, will prove fruitful.
Ensconced deep in the scenic Sahyadri range, which is a global biodiversity hotspot that boasts of rich and varied species of orchids, are the contiguous villages of Satrem and Parvad where the beautiful and rare star and doll orchids grow.

While it is not easy to access these villages, given that they sit in a remote forested area, the trip is worth the trouble just for the rewarding sight of these epiphytic herbs growing on trees.
Epiphytes are plants that grow harmlessly upon another plant (such as a tree) and derive moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from organic debris accumulating around it.
The star orchid (Conchidium microchilos) gets its name from its star-like shape and it is indeed a wondrous sight to see these yellow-white "stars" hanging down from trees.
The white coloured doll orchids (Habenaric crinifera) look like forest fairies dancing and swaying in the breeze. Unlike star orchids, these are mostly terrestrial, but can sometimes be found growing in axils of old branches where humus has accumulated. Both bloom in July-August and there is not much information about them.
Nashik-based botanist Sharad Kambale, who has studied the forest wealth of Goa, told TOI, "Both these species of orchids are rare and unique and there is need to protect and conserve the natural habitat of these orchids. There is also need for proper documentation and study of these species of orchids."

TOI Goa News

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