Sensitive species checklist for: Bhutan
Authors: Stig Dalström
Citation: How to cite: Dalström, S. 2017. Orchid Checklist of Bhutan. National Herbarium, National Biodiversity Centre, Ministry of Agriculture. Serbithang, Thimphu, Bhutan., accessed yyyy-mm-dd.
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Locality: Bhutan (27.332740, 90.439450)
Abstract: Despite being one of the smallest nations in the world, Bhutan has a rich and diverse orchid flora. The orchid flora of Bhutan is very similar to that of neighboring countries, such as the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal. The primary scientific publication on this subject is The Orchids of Bhutan (Pearce and Cribb, 2002), from here on referred to as "the Flora", where 579 species from the general floristic area are presented, of which 369 were recorded from Bhutan. Fourteen of these species are listed as endemic to Bhutan. This latter number is currently evolving and will change, for example through the recent discovery of Vanda bicolor Griff., in neighboring Assam.

According to the authors of the Flora, the majority of the listed species that are not previously reported from Bhutan are still expected to occur in this country. In addition, ca. 130 species are either reported (but not seen by Pearce and Cribb) from the nearby Sikkim and Darjeeling areas, or from the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, immediately to the east of Bhutan. This speculation is confirmed by Dhan Bahadur Gurung in his field guide to the native orchid flora (Gurung, 2006). Gurung was also able to add a considerable number of previously unrecorded species for Bhutan, which are included here.  Despite the excellent work by Pearce, Cribb and Gurung, a lot of work is left to be done in order to fully understand the entire orchid flora of Bhutan. One of many existing challenges is constituted by the topography with remote areas that are difficult to access and botanically explore. This work is crucial, however, for insightful decisions and meaningful strategies in order to protect the flora, the fauna and ultimately the overall environment. In addition, the list of species in the Flora is to a large extent based on collections from herbaria outside of Bhutan, mostly European, but India, Japan, South Africa and the United States are also represented. In order to fully comprehend, protect and sustainably utilize the natural biodiversity in general and the flora in particular, it is necessary to strengthen scientific collections at the National Herbarium (THIM) in Bhutan. These collections and databases will represent the foundation for future studies of the Bhutanese flora.

Genera and species listed here are mainly but not always in accordance with the Kew Checklist of Selected Plant Families (from hereon referred to as the Kew checklist), and/or with the sources listed in References. For current updates on continuous taxonomic transfers and alternative nomenclature, please refer to the Kew checklist. Note that most species have one or more synonyms and names are being changed frequently depending on recently available data and/or personal subjective opinions. For a better understanding of the ongoing transfers of names and where certain species may have “disappeared”, it is important to refer to the Kew checklist to see which names are currently accepted by the checklist’s author and which names are accepted by others.

Dalström, S., Ng. Gyeltshen, C. Gyeltshen, T. Höijer & J. Wangdi. 2013. Orchids of Bhutan II. To be or not to be a Chamaegastrodia. AOS Orchids 82(3): 150-153.

Dalström, S. and D.B.Gurung. 2013. Orchids of Bhutan III. The genus Epipogium in Bhutan. AOS Orchids 82(12): 735-739.

Dalström, S., D.B.Gurung, C. Gyeltshen, Ni. Gyeltshen. 2015. Orchids of Bhutan. The genus Vanda. AOS Orchids 84(1): 34-39.

Dalström, S., D.B.Gurung, C.Gyeltshen & N.Gyeltshen. 2015. Orchids of Bhutan. The genus Phaius. AOS Orchids 84(8): 484-491.

Dalström, S., D.Wangdi & K.Tobgay. 2015. Orchids of Bhutan. An expected alleged natural Vanda hybrid. AOS Orchids 84(11): 680-683.

Dalström, S., C. Gyeltshen, Ni. Gyeltshen, W. E. Higgins, Ng. Gyeltshen, B. B. Ghalley & J. Wangdi (eds.). A Century of New Orchid records in Bhutan. Nat. Biodiv. Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan.

Dorji, S. 2008. The Field Guide to the orchids of Bhutan. Bhutan Orchid Science Society.

Gurung, D.B. 2006. An illustrated guide to the orchids of Bhutan: 1-178. DSB Publication, GPO Box 435, Thimphu, Bhutan.

Pearce, N.R. & P.J. Cribb. 2002. The Orchids of Bhutan. Royal Botanic Garden, 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh & Royal Government of Bhutan.

Notes: Project supported by the United States Fulbright Scholar Program, Washington, D.C. (2017). The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.

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Families: 1
Genera: 113
Species: 463 (species rank)
Total Taxa: 463 (including subsp. and var.)
Cypripedium cordigerum D.Don - heart-shaped lip Cypripedium
terrestrial, endemic
terrestrial, endemic
terrestrial, endemic
epiphytic, endemic