Almost 118 years after it was rediscovered inside the dense forests of the Dudhwa reserve, the rare orchid specimen, known as Eulophia obtuse, is bearing fruits (seeds), giving much hope for its pollination and captive breeding.
The fruit has never been photographed or sighted by any researcher.
It may be recalled that a few weeks ago, a team led by field director Sanjay Pathak and deputy director Manoj Sonkar had spotted this rare orchid in Dudhwa’s core area for the first time and photographed it.
This discovery was shared with Bangladesh-based botanist Mohammed Sharif Hossain Sourav, who is currently pursuing research work on various species of orchids in Germany.
This orchid species is listed as ‘critically endangered’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
According to field director Sanjay Pathak, “Researcher Hossain had requested us to look for the plant which bears fruit, as during his research in Bangladesh, he was unable to find even one with fruits.
“After intensive search, we were able to locate a plant which had both flowers and fruits. We have collected specimens and it has opened the path for further research on this species.”
Pathak said Hossain hoped that Indian orchid researchers and botanists will conduct studies on its seed germination as well as tissue culture from underground corm for future horticulture value and ex-situ conservation.