BHUBANESWAR: If you have an eye for the orchids, here is the dope.
The Nandankanan Zoological Park here will have the largest Orchid House of Orissa soon.
Spread over 5,000 sq ft, the garden will be home to some exotic species which are found in Orissa as well as outside.
Sample this. Dove Orchid a.k.a Holy Ghost Orchid (Peristeria elata), which is also the national flower of Panama, will be among the 35 species to find place in the orchid garden which claims to be the biggest in the State.
Then there will be the magnificent Jewel Orchid and Lady’s Slipper which is the provincial flower of Prince Edward’s Island of Canada. Lady’s Slipper is exclusively found in North East India while Jewel Orchid’s distribution is in higher altitudes.
There will be more. The Nanadankanan Zoo authorities have collected over 156 varieties of orchids belonging to 35 species for the Orchid House which is now awaiting to be thrown open. Altogether, the specially-designed garden will be home to 1,000 plants, Director of Nandankanan Zoological Park Sudarshan Panda said. All the three different types of orchidaceae - epiphytic, subaerial and those growing on the soil are part of the collection.
“We have collected species which are rare to find because orchids are highly climatesensitive.
We have collected species which are found in Similipal and also got varieties from Regional Plant Resource Centre, Kerala and Karnataka,” he said.
In Orissa alone, 130 species of orchids have been documented yet. There will be a separate section on Orissa in the Orchid House which has been built at a cost of Rs 37 lakh under the State Plan Fund.
The Zoo authorities took technical assistance of orchid expert Sarat Chandra Mishra in conceptualisation and design of the orchid house which needed extra bit of attention. Special arrangements for aeration, sprinkling of water and mist creation have also been done to give the species the right environment.
Panda said the Orchid House will not be an excellent conservation centre but prove significant in sending a word or two on awareness.