Vanda tessellata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Vanda tessellata (Roxb.) Hook. ex G.Don
Common Name(s):
English Grey Orchid
Aerides tessellata (Roxb.) Wight ex Wall.
Cymbidium tessellatum (Roxb.) Sw.
Cymbidium tesselloides Roxb.
Epidendrum tessellatum Roxb.
Vanda roxburghii R.Br. var. wrightiana Rchb.f.
Vanda roxburghii R.Br.
Vanda tesselloides (Roxb.) Rchb.f.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-10-16
Assessor(s): Khela, S. & Chadburn, H.
Reviewer(s): Gunasekara, S., Huda, M.K., Pant, B. & Kumar, C.S.
Contributor(s): Dwivedi, S.
This orchid has suffered declines in subpopulations due to habitat loss and collection for its medicinal and horticultural use. It is classified as Vulnerable in Sri Lanka and is thought to be rapidly declining in parts of India where a preliminary assessment has classified it as Critically Endangered in Madya Pradesh. There is no information on the population in Myanmar, Nepal or Bangladesh. Based on collection records it has a widespread distribution,with an extent of occurrence (EOO) that greatly exceeds the value for a threatened category. No numerical population data is available. There have undoubtedly been population declines, but, as it is reported as abundant and common in parts of its range, it is suspected that the declines in the overall population are not sufficient to meet the criteria for a threatened category under criterion A. It is assessed as Least Concern, however, further surveys are needed to establish the current habitat and population status and monitoring is needed to enumerate declines.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This orchid is recorded throughout the Indian subcontinent to Indo-China (WCSP 2013). The species is widely distributed throughout Bangladesh except greater Chittagong and Sylhet (Roxburgh 1832, Hooker 1890, Prain 1903, Heinig 1925, Huda et al. 1999). It is recorded to occur between 15 and 700 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; India; Myanmar; Nepal; Sri Lanka
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):15
Upper elevation limit (metres):700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The number of individuals is not known. Overall it is abundant in the Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary although it has become rare in some villages in and around the Sanctuary (Sharma 2003). There are very few individuals remaining in Indor, Madya Pradesh  (S. Dwivedi pers. comm. 2013). The National Red Book of Sri Lanka has reported it as one of the more dominant species of dry zones (MOE 2012) but the population was noted to have declined heavily from 2009-2013 (S. Gunasekara pers. comm. 2014). Its status in the western Himalayas is 'occasional' (Jalal 2012) and it is reported as common in India (India Biodiversity Portal 2013). There is no published information on the species in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. Significant population declines have been reported as a result of  habitat loss and degradation through industrialization in India, particularly in Madya Pradesh  (S. Dwivedi pers. comm. 2013).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is an epiphytic orchid, up to 60 cm in height, growing on trees in dry and intermediate zones (Fernando et al. 2003, MOE 2012). At Bodimettu on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in Southern India this species grows as a lithophytes in open sun attaining 6-8 feet height (C.S. Kumar pers. comm. 2014). It has been collected from sparse scrub coastal habitats and is also found in scrub jungle and can form extensive masses on tree trunks (specimen data). In Sri Lanka, in particular, it has a wide range of colour variations (S. Gunasekara pers. comm. January 2014). In Bangladesh, this orchid grows on the branches and trunks of the large host trees, e.g. Albizia saman, Albizia procera, Mangifera indica (Huda 2008).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This orchid has medicinal uses, it contains phytochemicals such as alkaloids, tannins and saponin. It is used as an aphrodisiac, analgesic and nerve tonic and used in Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. The entire plant is used, particularly the leaves and roots (Kumar et al. 2000, Singh and Duggal 2009). It is used in ethnomedicine by local tribes in Rajasthan for treatment of ailments in cattle (Sharma 2003) and also for bone fractures (Dwivedi et al. 2008). No medicinal use is reported from Sri lanka (S. Gunasekara pers. comm. 2014). It is also grown by orchid enthusiasts.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Exploitation for its traditional medicinal use has caused pressure on subpopulations. Significant population declines have been attributed to changing environmental conditions and habitat loss and degradation through industrialization in India, particularly in Madya Pradesh (S. Dwivedi pers. comm. 2013). It is particularly vulnerable to the loss of mature host trees. Habitats in Sri Lanka are noted to be heavily impacted by large development projects in the dry zone, such as road building, irrigation schemes and urbanization. In addition, in Sri Lanka, the rare and attractive colour varieties of this species are the target of collectors and traders (S. Gunasekara pers. comm. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed as Vulnerable A2d in Sri Lanka (MOE 2012) and B2ab(i,ii,iii) (IUCN 2007) and thought to be Critically Endangered in Madya Pradesh region of India as the plant is at high risk from disappearing, in this area, if not conserved through breeding programmes (Dwivedi et al. 2008, S. Dwivedi pers. comm. 2013). It is listed as lc (Least Concern) in Bangladesh, where no immediate conservation measures are needed (Huda 2008). It is protected under Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in Sri Lanka and is listed in CITES Appendix II. This orchid is found within protected areas, such as the Bhagwan Mahavir (Molem) National Park in Goa (Datar and Lakshminarasimhan 2013) and Chitwan National Park in Nepal (S. Gunasekera pers. comm. Janury 2014). It is cultivated ex situ by orchid enthusiasts and a variety of colour forms are within the collection of the Dry-Zone Botanic gardens in Hambanthota in Sri Lanka (S. Gunsekara pers. comm. 2014). It is currently under cultivation in Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary, Wayanad and Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Palode, Trivandrum, both in South India. It is also under cultivation in Colombo in Sri Lanka. It is not known whether it is conserved in any seed bank.

Citation: Khela, S. & Chadburn, H. 2014. Vanda tessellata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T22486461A22488222. . Downloaded on 17 July 2018.
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