Rare plant species discovered from Sikkim Himalayas

Globba andersonii

Researchers from Pune and Kerala have rediscovered a rare and critically endangered plant species called Globba andersonii from the Sikkim Himalayas after a gap of 135 years.

The plant, commonly known as ‘dancing ladies’ or ‘swan flowers’ was thought to have been extinct until its “re-collection” for the first time since 1875 when the British botanist, Sir George King, collected it from the Sikkim Himalayas. Globba andersonii are characterised by white flowers and a “yellowish lip”. The species is restricted mainly to the Teesta River Valley region which includes the Sikkim Himalayas and Darjeeling hill ranges. The plant usually grows in a dense colony as a lithophyte (plant growing on a bare rock or stone) on rocky slopes in the outskirts of evergreen forests.