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GARDENING

The 'lost and found' orchid


YOU might have heard that orchids are very beautiful flowers. Yes, they are not only beautiful, but are also very delicate. In nature, orchids are some of the plants that die first when sudden changes take place in the environment.

Paphiopedilum druryi is the only lady's slipper orchid found in South India. Till some years ago, it was believed to have disappeared, but recently, a few plants were recovered from the Western Ghats. Orchid growers rushed to take possession of the plant and people sold them at very high prices. Later the orchid was located in some more places and the mad rush stopped.

When things are not so easily available their value increases. Orchids in general became expensive and much-sought after because of their beauty and rarity. However, it is ironical that the orchid family Orchidaceae is one of the largest plant families with its members widely distributed. Many of them have only small and less conspicuous flowers which are well described as botanicals.

Text and picture by O.T. RAVINDRAN

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