Introducing Orchids and epiphyte structures at Belipola
Updated: Jun 1
Sri Lanka is known to have 199 Orchids including 55 endemics consisting of epiphytic, saprophytes, terrestrial, and aquatic species. These Orchids are found in the coastal areas, rain forests, dry and arid zones, as well as up to 4000 ft in the hills. The
Belipola Arboretum is now demonstrating serral succession towards ecological maturity and so, it is the ideal space for observing how regionally, epiphytes and types of orchids, alongside ‘niche’ terrestrial structures that are becoming more and more rare in todays world.
The project of introducing native orchids at Belipola has been implemented is overseen by senior naturalist and in house expert Ajantha Palihawadane. Ajantha is a respected naturalist and Orchid expert in Sri Lanka. Self motivated in his field activities observing rare and distinct forms of forest structures such as epiphytes and rosette patterns. Ajantha's work together with Dr. Ranil Senanayake has continued for over 20 years at Belipola.
Phase 1 : Identification and development of a DATABASE of Orchid species present at Belipola
Phase 2 : Collection of select species that is not found at Belipola
Using his expertise Ajantha will introduce the following species : Nervilia Plicata / Nervilia fordii / Bulbophyllum sp / Gastrochilus Sp / Thrixspermum sp / Epipogium Sp / Dendrobium Sp
Phase 3 : Logistics for transporting and plant establishment at Belipola
Studying the physiognomic patters of flora using the AF GAP formulae and physiognomic notation will help Ajantha to establish the orchid features at the most appropriate spacing in select sectors at Belipola.
--- > Belipola nursery
--- > Identifying appropriate GAPS at Belipola to place the Orchis in an Analog (man -made) ecosystem.
--- > Identifying the original host of specific species of Orchid plants (advanced botanical research)
Original (recorded) host structures for select orchid species.
-- indicates that the tree host is found at Belipola
Orchid variety : Dendrobium macrostachyum
Orchid variety : Balbophyllum macraei (Endemic)
--- Antidesma bunius
Orchid variety : Eria bicolor
Orchid variety : Cymbidium aloifolium
Using his expertise Ajantha has introduced over 20 new species of Orchids at Belipola during this project which will be completed in 2021
Feel free to drop by Belipola or contact Ajantha for further info regarding orchids and AF learning :