Happy Bamboo Orchids

From GBS plant conservationists and ecosystem gardeners Suma Keloth and Sora Tsukamoto: “We had Arundina graminifolia in the greenhouse for many years. After learning about their natural habitat we created a space for them on one of the new rockeries a few years ago. Last year we have noticed them self propagating on the mud bank in quite large numbers. Arundina graminifolia is quite wide spread but we have seen it only a few times in the wild on rocky slopes in grasslands in southern Kerala. It seems quite rare in south India.”

This south Indian ecotype of Arundina is very different in colour from its commoner north east Indian relative. The latter is a popular garden plant and commercially available. The genus Arundina is recognized to have only one species: A. graminifolia, with several ecotypes.

Above: the new outdoor habitat for Arundina at GBS, a rockery on a slope which once had tea. When out-planting techniques are successful, and we find the right location for species, the reward is often exuberant growth.

Above: baby Arundinas on the mudslope. Clearly, a self propagating population is robust, and can even be independent of our direct care in time. We can look forward to a mixed species grassland community, rehabilitated habitat formed from rehabilitated species.

Photos by Sora Tsukamoto

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