Goodyera repens (L.) R.Brown.

Terrestrial. A small beautiful plant of the size 6 to 12 cm in height. Stem leafy below and bracteate above, passing into pubescent peduncle. Leaves ovate-elliptic to elliptic, the peduncle sheathing in the lower half. Raceme sub-secund, its rachis and the bracts and ovaries sparsely pubescent or sometimes sub-glabrous. Sepals sub-equal, ovate, sub-acute. Petals about as long as the sepals, cunneate-oblong, acute at the apex. Lip about as long as the sepals, saccate at the base, the apical lobe short.

Goodyera repens, (L.) R.Brown
Goodyera repens (L.) R.Brown

The Pursuit

This species was documented from the Western Himalayas by several people who visited the “Valley of Flowers”. However, even though described by many from Eastern Himalayas, none was able to produce a photograph (It never grows in any nurseries like other Jewel orchids may be the reason!!!). I decided to survey an area between 12000 and 13000 ft. As it grows near to streams and water bodies, I concentrated on areas with wet and moist surroundings. Even though it is a small plant, its leaves are very attractive and draws attention. At those altitude the main trees are the Rhododendrons with very thick and strong branches which make survey under them very difficult. However, with very much difficulty I crawled under those thickets in search of this species for several days. Finally all of a sudden I was standing in front of the species, altogether around 15 plants scattered on a wet moist land. They were in buds only, however it took another two weeks to see them blooming. In the two weeks I visited the area for 6 days. Finally I got it on a rainy day. I still remember the efforts I put that evening to dry up my camera stuff.