Itanagar: Krishna Chowlu, a scientist from Arunachal Pradesh, has discovered 12 new species of orchid till date, out of which one has been named after former chief minister Late Dorjee Khandu.
Impatiens Dorjeekhanduii is the species of orchid discovered in Zemithang area under Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh and was named so to honour the departed leader.
“Late Khandu contributed a lot for our state and before completion of his tenure, he left us. So I (Chowlu) thought of giving him an honour for his services to our state,” said Chowlu.
Cymbidium hengbungense, Dendrobium Nageswarayanum, Oberonia bopannae, Oberonia Jhae, Oberonia Manipurense, Stereochilus arunachalensis, Oberonia latipetala, Bulbophyllum kipgenii, Corydalis arcuata, Corydalis biflora and Corydalis stenophylla are the names of the rest of the 11 orchid species she discovered.
Corydalis arcuata, corydalis biflora and corydalis stenophylla were discovered from Sela Pass in Tawang whereas Stereochilus Arunachalensis and Dendrobium Nageswarayanum were discovered from Lower Dibang Valley and Koloriang respectively.
Five species were discovered in Manipur. Oberonia Manipurense was discovered from Tamenglong in Manipur. Oberonia Bopannae, Oberonia Jhae and Oberonia latipetala from Senapati in Manipur. Cymbidium hengbungense was found in Hengbung area in Manipur.
All of her findings were published in several journals that include Journals Phytotaxa from Netherlands, Nordic Journal of Botany from Norway, Kew Bulletin from London, Richardiana from France, etc.
Her recent discoveries are the three species from Corydalis family which are found in high altitude. Chowlu discovered these species along with Dr. Magnus Liden, from Upssala University in Sweden. The three new species discovered by the duo include corydalis arcuata, corydalis biflora and corydalis stenophylla.
Chowlu along with Dr. Kishor (OGCC, Manipur) and late prof. S.P. Vij (Panjab University, Chandigarh) discovered this species from Manipur and gave the name kipgenii in honor of her boss Kipgen.
” I named Dendrobium Nageswarayanum in honor of Dr. A.N. Rao, ex orchidologist of SFRI, Arunachal Pradesh and ex Director of Centre for orchid Gene conservation Manipur,” she said.
“I named Oberonia bopannae in honour of Army Gen Bopanne, Oberonia in honour of my school teacher name SC Jha, Oberonia latipetala named after its broader petals and Oberonia manipurense in honour of the beautiful state of Manipur,” she said.
“I named Stereochilus arunachalensis in honour of my state, Arunachal Pradesh,” she added.
Chowlu did her schooling from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mahadevpur. She graduated from Digboi College in Assam. Later, did her Master’s from Dibrugarh University in Assam and. Ph. D. from Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh.
After completing her Ph D, she got an opportunity to work in Orchid Gene Conservation Centre (OGCC) at Manipur under Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, for five years as Scientist B. Later, Chowlu joined Botanical Survey of India, Union ministry of environment, forests & climate change, New Delhi as Scientist B. As of now, she has been promoted to Scientist C.