Project

Orchids of Sri Lanka

Goal: This is a personal effort with collaborations with friends, hikers, botanists, entomologists in Sri Lanka to revise the different genera in the country one by one.

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Project log

Champika Bandara
added a research item
Trichoglottis longifolia Atthan., C. Bandara, N.L. Bandara & Kumar sp. nov. is described and illustrated as a new species from Sri Lanka. So far, the genus was represented by a single species in Sri Lanka, Trichoglottis tenera. The new species can be easily distinguished from T. tenera in having longer leaves, yellowish-green flowers with lanceolate dorsal sepal and petals and a longer spur. This species occurs in sub-montane forests in Sabaragamuwa Province and categorized as Endangered based on the available data.
Pankaj Kumar
added a research item
Three species of Nervilia Comm. ex Gaudich. are enumerated from Sri Lanka. A key to the identification of these three species is provided along with taxonomic details, descriptions and notes on flowering phenology, habitat and global distribution. The misidentification of the only species previously recorded in the country, N. juliana (Roxb.) Schltr., is resolved. Colour figures and line drawings are provided for all species.
Pankaj Kumar
added a research item
A new species, Dendrobium taprobanium (Orchidaceae), is described and illustrated from the Sabaragamuwa Province in Sri Lanka. The new species is morphologically similar to D. trinervium from Indochina. However, it can be readily distinguished by having a rounded callus with fine glandular hairs at the seam of the hypochile and epichile, while D. trinervium has three rows of thickened glabrous calli arising from the middle or posterior end of the lip and extending to the apex of the midlobe. Due to its morphological similarities, D. gunnarii, an endemic orchid from the Andaman Islands, India, is synonymised to D. trinervium. Additionally, taxonomic notes are also provided for D. heterocarpum, D. macrostaychum and D. nutantiflorum, and a lectotype is designated for D. panduratum. A key to all the Dendrobium species in Sri Lanka is provided along with colour photographs.
Pankaj Kumar
added a research item
Gastrodia gunatillekeorum, a new species in the family Orchidaceae, is described and illustrated from a tropical lowland rainforests of Sri Lanka. It is morphologically close to G. spatulata which is endemic to Indonesia owing to the white flower front with yellowish-orange colour on the inner wall of perianth tube and free part of perianth tube reflexed backwards. However, these two species can be very well differentiated on the basis of spathulate to linear petals which are shorter than sepals, fused only at the base and present inside the perianth tube; labellum elongate-elliptic and column broadest in the middle part in G. spatulata, whereas petals as long as sepals with apical 1/3 rd part free (rest fused with sepals) and reflexed backwards, labellum rhomboid in shape, column broadest towards the apex in G. gunatillekeorum. Taxonomic account, line drawing, color photographs and conservation assessment are provided for the new species.
Pankaj Kumar
added a research item
Pteroceras dalaputtuwa, a new species, is described from the lowland-wet zone of Sri Lanka. For the first time in the history of plant nomenclature, a new species is named after an elephant, 'Galgamuwa Dala Puttuwa', which was killed for its majestic ivory. The new species shows a close morphological affinity with P. philippinense from the Philippines. However, P. dalaputtuwa sp. nov. can be readily distinguished by having small and partially opened flowers (10 mm long × 5 mm wide), short petals (4 mm long × 1 mm wide), short sepals (4.9 mm long × 3.0 mm wide), and elongated rectangular-oval spur (7 mm long × 3 mm wide). Pteroceras viridiflorum, which was considered a "Critically Endangered Possibly Extinct" [CR(PE)] orchid, was also recollected after a gap of nearly 150 years with a record of a new colour form (white colour variant) and, is re-described with designation of a lectotype and an epitype.
Pankaj Kumar
added a project goal
This is a personal effort with collaborations with friends, hikers, botanists, entomologists in Sri Lanka to revise the different genera in the country one by one.