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New flower species discovered in Ukhrul district

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 19, 2016 12:00 am

Our Correspondent
IMPHAL, July 18

An adventurous trip organised by a facebook group ‘Ihao’ spotted a new flower species in Manipur’s Ukhrul district which is the natural habitat of state flower Shirui Lily.
The trip which was organized last week end was also participated by some Imphal based journalists and adventure loving members.
The flower locally known as ‘Shingcha Phiyowon’ blooms in abundance at Mount Hoyang Kachui located at Shingcha, 46 km away from Ukhrul district headquarter.
Some tourists who visited the area two years back named the flower Phiyowon.
‘Phi’ comes from ‘philava’ meaning ‘princess’ and ‘yo’ from ‘mayori’ meaning “sweet” and ‘won’ means flower. Thus the name signifies a princess blooming sweetly in the wild, according to Tennoson Pheiray, a key member of trip.
Tennoson speaking to Eastern Mirror Correspondent said that the villagers found the natural habitat of the flower long time back but the flower became popular only recently. The same flower also grows in Shirui but not like the way they blooms at Shingcha, he added.
Rajeshwar Yumnam founding secretary of world war II Imphal foundation who was also part of the trip said, the habitat area where the wild flower grows covers an area of about 2 sq km. It even grows on the rocks. The flower blooms for about 2 weeks during mid July every year.
However flower lovers and florists here are yet to identify the biological name of the flower which stands one feet above the ground. Some horticulture scientists based here are consulting their counterparts to ascertain the details of the flower.
Meanwhile some of the flower hunters after seeing the pictures observed that the new flower could be a ground orchid or a flower of ginger family. They also believed that it resemble like that of Roscoea species which is a genus of perennial plants of the family Zingiberaceae, the ginger family and it is native to mountainous regions of the Himalayas. The flowers superficially resemble orchids, although they are not related. A Horticulture scientist at ICAR Imphal said that the flower resembles Roscoea purpurea. But it needs to be confirmed ,he added.On the other an Orchid expert,said this could be a species of the genus Caulokaempferia belonging to the family Zingiberaceae.This genus is native to China,the Himalayas and Indonesia and Thailand.
Ukhrul district in Manipur is famous not only for the peculiar type of terrestrial lily, the Shirui Lily which is a shade-loving state flower, has pale blush-pink petals.In the wild if flowers in the monsoon months of June and July.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 19, 2016 12:00:27 am