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A study of the conservation status of the Thai species of the genus Calanthe (Orchidaceae)

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A study of the conservation status of the Thai species of the genus Calanthe (Orchidaceae)
Hubert Kurzweil 1, Somran Suddee 2 and Piyakaset Suksathan 3
1 Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Parks Board, Singapore

2 Forest Herbarium, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Bangkok, Thailand

3 Herbarium, Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The primarily terrestrial orchid genus Calanthe R.Br. is represented in Thailand with 21 species. Due to habitat destruction and collecting for horticultural purposes several Thai calanthes have become rare. We are planning to assess the national conservation status of all Calanthe species that are currently known in the country, based on herbarium examinations as well as on field observations. Preliminary comments are presented in this poster. Only five species are rather common in suitable habitats (Calanthe cardioglossa, C. lyroglossa, C. rosea, C. rubens, C. triplicata). Several other species are seldom seen as they are localised in their occurrence (C. biloba, C. clavata, C. densiflora, C. labrosa, C. masuca, C. odora, C. puberula, C. simplex, C. succedanea, C. vestita). Four primarily Malesian species have their northernmost limit of distribution in peninsular Thailand which presumably accounts for their rarity in Thailand (C. angustifolia, C. ceciliae, C. pulchra, C. speciosa). C. herbacea, ranging from the eastern Himalayas through Indochina to China, has its southernmost limit of distribution in northern Thailand where it is currently known from only two localities. The only endemic Calanthe species in Thailand is C. hirsuta, and seeing that it is rare and localised in the country, this species should have high priority in future conservation projects.

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