Researchers discover two new orchid species in Punakha

A team of researchers have identified two new species of orchid from Punakha. The species are new to science and belong to the Bulbophyllum genus. Although 62 species of orchids have been documented in Bhutan, the journal published by the researchers says the diversity of this genus is poorly surveyed and documented in the country compared to the neighbouring countries.

In 2006, Professor Dhan Bahadur Gurung from the College of Natural Resources collected species of the Bulbophyllum genus from the broadleaved forest in Punakha. He found the Bulbophyllum gurungianum then but could not identify it.

It was featured in his book “An Illustrated Guide to the Orchids of Bhutan.”

But last year, during a botanical exploration in Punakha, Phub Gyeltshen and Kinley Rabgay who were researchers spotted the same species at Rimchu and Menchhuna in Punakha.

The species was then named Bulbophyllum gurungianum in honour of Professor Dhan Bahadur Gurung who first observed the orchid.

And the other species was named Bulbophyllum Punakhaense as the researchers first spotted it in Punakha.

According to researchers, the presence of orchids indicates that the ecosystem in Bhutan is healthy and balanced.

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