VEGETOS: An International Journal of Plant ResearchOnline ISSN: 2229-4473
Print ISSN: 0970-4078

Study on Distribution and Habitat Ecology of a Rare Lady Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium cordigerum D. Don) in Himachal Pradesh

Study on Distribution and Habitat Ecology of a Rare Lady Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium cordigerum D. Don) in Himachal Pradesh>

Cypripedium cordigerum D. Don is a beautiful species of lady slipper orchids which is endemic to the Himalayan range. Ongoing anthropogenic pressures have jeopardized its populations to such an extent that it has been declared ‘Rare’ in Red Data Book of Indian plants. Since formulation and successful execution of conservation strategies in such rare species highly depend upon information regarding their distribution and habitat ecology, present study was undertaken to document such details of C. cordigerum in Himachal Pradesh. The species was found restricted in distribution to Kullu, Shimla and Sirmaur districts, and inhabited shady moist habitats of temperate and subalpine regions (2130-3550 m). Species density [individual(s)/ mm2] was highest (2.09) at Fagu and lowest (0.41) at Churdhar. Slightly acidic to nearly neutral soils (pH 6.34-6.92) with higher contents of organic C, N, P and K were best suited for its growth and development. Deforestation and overgrazing were key factors responsible for shrinkage of its natural populations in the state.

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