Two endangered ornamental orchid species, Bulbophyllum coweniorum and Esmeralda bella (Orchidaceae), new in the flora of VietnamTwo rare endangered ornamental species of orchids (Orchidaceae) – Bulbophyllum coweniorum J. J. Verm. et P. O’Byrne and Esmeralda bella Rchb. f., new for the flora of Vietnam were discovered during botanical field surveys of medicinal plants conducted by Department of Pharmacognosy of Hanoi University of Pharmacy in years 2015–2016. According to people from local minorities, both species are used in traditional medicine, but no scientific data on medicinal activity of any substances obtained from these plants are yet available.
Meanwhile, the wide deforestation in areas of discovered species is the main fatal factor of their fast extinction in known localities. Hence, they should be regarded as nationally critically endangered (CR) in terms of IUCN Red List categories and criteria. The extensive commercial collecting of both species as highly demanded medicinal and ornamental plants is additional factor of their extinction even in intact habitats. At the same time, any present field data on both species are very scarce for understanding of their current distribution, natural resources, ecology, biology and morphological variation.
This is published on Turczaninowia 20(01) by Dr. Nguyen Hoang Tuan (Hanoi University of Pharmacy, vietnam) and Prof.Sci.Dr. Averyanov (Komarov Botanical Institute, Russia).
Bulbophyllum coweniorum J. J. Verm. et P. O’Byrne
English: Cowen’s Bulbophyllum (named after Mr. and Mrs. Cowen, who cultivated this species and successively made it flowering in their garden in Thailand)
Vietnamese (proposed): Lọng hoa lớn
Ecology and phenology
Creeping branch and trunk epiphyte. Evergreen broad-leaved submontane forests on silicate rocks. 800–1500 m a.s.l. Flowers in March – April. Flowering in cultivation was observed in January–March, October and December (Vermeulen, O’Byrne, 2003; Schuiteman et al., 2008).
Vietnam: Dak Lak province (Chu Yang Sin Mountains) and Kon Tum province (Ngoc Linh Mountains);
Laos: Champasak province (no exact locality, Schuiteman et al., 2008).
Threat and conservation
The wide deforestation due to uncontrolled primitive burning and shifting agriculture, as well as forest logging throughout the Lao PDR territory, is the leading factor of the species extinction (Cockel, 2013). Additional threat factor is commercial plant collecting, mainly for export to China as ornamental and medicinal plant used in traditional oriental medicine (Lamxay, 2009). While this species appears rather common in the orchid trade and in cultivation, its distribution and occurrence in Lao PDR remains unclear (Vermeulen, O’Byrne, 2003; Schuiteman et al., 2008; Cockel, 2013). Beside the type, two additional available reports in Laos are based on cultivated specimens originated from Champasak province without indication of exact locality and data on ecology (Schuiteman et al., 2008). Present record of this species in Vietnam is based on the single observed, highly depleted population standing on the verge of full extinction due to overexploitation and habitat loss. The absence of any current field data makes IUCN Red List criteria not well applicable for identification of species’ status. Data deficient (DD) status should be formally applied for this species in formal terms, whereas in fact it may be very near to full extinction in the nature (nationally CR).
Bulbophyllum coweniorum on Turczaninowia20(1)
Bulbophyllum coweniorum - TuanNguyen onhup.edu.vn
This and similar related species are used in traditional medicine for treating hemoptysis, pneumonia, sore throat and chronic gastritis according to verbal information obtained from people of local minorities. Scientific data on medicinal activity of any substances obtained from these plants are not yet available.
Esmeralda bella Rchb. f.
English: The Beautiful Arachnanthe
Chinese:Kou Gai Hua Zhi Zhu Lan
Vietnamese (proposed): Bò cạp sìn hồ
Ecology and phenology
Pendulous monopodial branch and trunk epiphyte. Evergreen broad-leaved humid forests, preferably on karstic limestone. 1500–1600 m a.s.l. Flowers in November–December.
Vietnam: provinces – Lai Chau (Sin Ho district) and Lao Cai (Sa Pa district).
India, Myanmar, Nepal, SW China (SE Xizang, SW Yunnan), Thailand.
Threat and conservation
Almost total deforestation in areas of known populations is the main fatal factor of species extinction in Vietnam. Habitats harboring few discovered populations are currently degrading fast due to forest logging, road construction and agricultural landscape transformations. The gathering of mature samples for local and international trade (mainly to China) as a highly demanded ornamental plant is also significant factor of the species extinction even in intact natural conditions. Very strict area of distribution and rapid habitat loss lead to strong declining of populations during last decade. Therefore, species should be tentatively estimated as nationally critically endangered (CR) in terms of IUCN Red List categories and criteria (The IUCN Red List, 2016).
According to people from local minorities, the leaves may be used in traditional medicine for treating stomach pain and pimple. However, scientific data on medicinal activity of any substances obtained this species are not yet available .
Esmeralda bella onTurczaninowia 20(1)
Esmeralda bella - TuanNguyen on hup.edu.vn
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